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Children whose parents experience adverse social, economic, or health-related living conditions are more likely to face similar types of disadvantage in their adult life. However, a limitation of many earlier studies is that they do not account for the multidimensionality of the concept of living conditions, and that the child generation’s life courses are targeted as static and independent from the societal context in which they are imbedded. The current investigation addressed these aspects by focusing on the complexity, duration, and timing of disadvantage with regard to how adverse circumstances in the family of origin are associated with trajectories of social, economic, and health-related living conditions across adulthood. We also examined the role of educational attainment for these associations. Analyses were based a Swedish cohort born in 1953 (n = 14,294). We first conducted sequence analysis, followed by hierarchical cluster analysis, to generate ‘outcome profiles’, i.e. trajectories of adult disadvantage. Second, several indicators of adverse circumstances in childhood were analysed by means of multinominal regression analysis, showing the odds of ending up in the different trajectories. The results indicated that individuals who grew up under adverse conditions were more likely to experience disadvantaged social, economic, and health-related trajectories. This was particularly the case for trajectories characterised by a high degree of complexity, i.e. coexisting disadvantages, and—among men only—by a longer duration of disadvantage. Educational attainment was identified as a powerful mediator, suggesting that efforts to increase equal educational opportunity may be a way of reducing the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.
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- Childhood Adversity and Trajectories of Disadvantage Through Adulthood: Findings from the Stockholm Birth Cohort Study
Ylva B. Almquist
- Springer Netherlands
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