The Intergenerational Transmission of Mental and Physical Health in Australia:Evidence Using Data From the Household Income and Labor Dynamics of Australia Survey

Vera-Toscano, Esperanza and Brown, Heather (2022) The Intergenerational Transmission of Mental and Physical Health in Australia:Evidence Using Data From the Household Income and Labor Dynamics of Australia Survey. Frontiers in Public Health, 9. ISSN 2296-2565

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Abstract

Promoting good health across the life course is high on countries agenda. There is a growing evidence base that health is correlated across generations. We examine the persistence of physical and mental health status across generations and explore how different early life factors and adult outcomes impact on this association. In particular, we focus on childhood disadvantage and childhood health, educational attainment, and social mobility measured by household income compared to one's parents. We use data from 19 waves of the Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The analysis is restricted to young adults (aged 25–35 years old in 2019) and their parents. We find an intergenerational correlation in health which ranges from 0.19 for physical health to 0.20 for the QALY and 0.21 for mental health. After we include covariates related to childhood disadvantage, childhood health, educational attainment, and social mobility, the intergenerational correlations are reduced to 0.13 for physical health, 0.18 for mental health, and 0.14 for QALYs. We find that early life disadvantage is the only factor influencing the intergenerational correlation for all health measures. Policy focusing on reducing the negative impact of early life disadvantage is likely to have a larger impact on improving health across the life course and reducing intergenerational health inequalities.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Frontiers in Public Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2739
Subjects:
ID Code:
169414
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 May 2022 12:57
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
27 May 2022 12:15