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Breast feeding and intergenerational social mobility: what are the mechanisms?

Sacker A, Kelly Y, Iacovou M, Cable N, Bartley M - Arch. Dis. Child. (2013)

Bottom Line: The effect of breast feeding on intergenerational social mobility from age 10/11 to age 33/34 was analysed after multiple imputations to fill in missing data and propensity score matching on a wide range of confounders measured in childhood (1958 cohort N=16 039-16 154; 1970 cohort N=16 255-16 361).Consistent with a causal explanation, the findings were robust to matching on a large number of observable variables and effect sizes were alike for two cohorts with different social distributions of breast feeding.The effect was mediated in part through neurological and stress mechanisms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK. sacker@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate the association between breast feeding and intergenerational social mobility and the possible mediating role of neurological and stress mechanisms.

Design: Secondary analysis of data from the 1958 and the 1970 British Cohort Studies.

Setting: Longitudinal study of individuals born in Britain during 1 week in 1958 and 1970.

Participants: 17 419 individuals participated in the 1958 cohort and 16 771 in the 1970 cohort. The effect of breast feeding on intergenerational social mobility from age 10/11 to age 33/34 was analysed after multiple imputations to fill in missing data and propensity score matching on a wide range of confounders measured in childhood (1958 cohort N=16 039-16 154; 1970 cohort N=16 255-16 361).

Main outcome measures: Own Registrar General's Social Class (RGSC) at 33/34 years adjusted for father's RGSC at 10/11 years, gender and their interaction.

Results: Breastfed individuals were more likely to be upwardly mobile (1958 cohort: OR 1.24 95% CI 1.12 to 1.38; 1970 cohort: OR 1.24 95% CI 1.12 to 1.37) and less likely to be downwardly mobile (1958 cohort: OR 0.81 95% CI 0.73 to 0.90; 1970 cohort: OR 0.79 95% CI 0.71 to 0.88). In an ordinal regression model, markers of neurological development (cognitive test scores) and stress (emotional stress scores) accounted for approximately 36% of the relationship between breast feeding and social mobility.

Conclusions: Breast feeding increased the odds of upward social mobility and decreased the odds of downward mobility. Consistent with a causal explanation, the findings were robust to matching on a large number of observable variables and effect sizes were alike for two cohorts with different social distributions of breast feeding. The effect was mediated in part through neurological and stress mechanisms.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Proportion of children in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts who were breast fed by father's social class at birth (data averaged over 20 filled-in datasets). IIINM, III non-manual; IIIM, III manual.
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ARCHDISCHILD2012303199F1: Proportion of children in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts who were breast fed by father's social class at birth (data averaged over 20 filled-in datasets). IIINM, III non-manual; IIIM, III manual.

Mentions: In the 1958 cohort, 68% of mothers breast fed their children compared with 36% in the 1970 cohort. FigureĀ 1 highlights that breast feeding was significantly more socially distributed in the 1970 cohort than the 1958 cohort (RII 1958 cohort 1.94, 95% CI 1.69 to 2.22; RII 1970 cohort 3.62, 95% CI 3.15 to 4.16). The pattern of social mobility also differed between the two cohorts (table 2). Upward social mobility was more likely in the 1970 than the 1958 cohort, but at the same time downward social mobility was less likely in the later born cohort. Total mobility, similar in both cohorts, thus masks differences in upward and downward movements.


Breast feeding and intergenerational social mobility: what are the mechanisms?

Sacker A, Kelly Y, Iacovou M, Cable N, Bartley M - Arch. Dis. Child. (2013)

Proportion of children in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts who were breast fed by father's social class at birth (data averaged over 20 filled-in datasets). IIINM, III non-manual; IIIM, III manual.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756446&req=5

ARCHDISCHILD2012303199F1: Proportion of children in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts who were breast fed by father's social class at birth (data averaged over 20 filled-in datasets). IIINM, III non-manual; IIIM, III manual.
Mentions: In the 1958 cohort, 68% of mothers breast fed their children compared with 36% in the 1970 cohort. FigureĀ 1 highlights that breast feeding was significantly more socially distributed in the 1970 cohort than the 1958 cohort (RII 1958 cohort 1.94, 95% CI 1.69 to 2.22; RII 1970 cohort 3.62, 95% CI 3.15 to 4.16). The pattern of social mobility also differed between the two cohorts (table 2). Upward social mobility was more likely in the 1970 than the 1958 cohort, but at the same time downward social mobility was less likely in the later born cohort. Total mobility, similar in both cohorts, thus masks differences in upward and downward movements.

Bottom Line: The effect of breast feeding on intergenerational social mobility from age 10/11 to age 33/34 was analysed after multiple imputations to fill in missing data and propensity score matching on a wide range of confounders measured in childhood (1958 cohort N=16 039-16 154; 1970 cohort N=16 255-16 361).Consistent with a causal explanation, the findings were robust to matching on a large number of observable variables and effect sizes were alike for two cohorts with different social distributions of breast feeding.The effect was mediated in part through neurological and stress mechanisms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK. sacker@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate the association between breast feeding and intergenerational social mobility and the possible mediating role of neurological and stress mechanisms.

Design: Secondary analysis of data from the 1958 and the 1970 British Cohort Studies.

Setting: Longitudinal study of individuals born in Britain during 1 week in 1958 and 1970.

Participants: 17 419 individuals participated in the 1958 cohort and 16 771 in the 1970 cohort. The effect of breast feeding on intergenerational social mobility from age 10/11 to age 33/34 was analysed after multiple imputations to fill in missing data and propensity score matching on a wide range of confounders measured in childhood (1958 cohort N=16 039-16 154; 1970 cohort N=16 255-16 361).

Main outcome measures: Own Registrar General's Social Class (RGSC) at 33/34 years adjusted for father's RGSC at 10/11 years, gender and their interaction.

Results: Breastfed individuals were more likely to be upwardly mobile (1958 cohort: OR 1.24 95% CI 1.12 to 1.38; 1970 cohort: OR 1.24 95% CI 1.12 to 1.37) and less likely to be downwardly mobile (1958 cohort: OR 0.81 95% CI 0.73 to 0.90; 1970 cohort: OR 0.79 95% CI 0.71 to 0.88). In an ordinal regression model, markers of neurological development (cognitive test scores) and stress (emotional stress scores) accounted for approximately 36% of the relationship between breast feeding and social mobility.

Conclusions: Breast feeding increased the odds of upward social mobility and decreased the odds of downward mobility. Consistent with a causal explanation, the findings were robust to matching on a large number of observable variables and effect sizes were alike for two cohorts with different social distributions of breast feeding. The effect was mediated in part through neurological and stress mechanisms.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus