Distinct Elements of a Multidimensional Measure of Young Adult SES Differentially Predict Obesity across Race/Ethnicity
Melissa Scharoun-Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Penny Gordon-Larsen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Substantial racial/ethnic differences in young adult obesity are related to socioeconomic status (SES). However, major life changes during young adulthood create challenges for traditional SES assessment. We defined a multidimensional young adult SES measure and investigated whether distinct SES dimensions differentially predicted obesity across race/ethnicity in 9,461 young adults (mean age=21.9) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Principal factor analysis was performed on 47 indicators covering the spectrum of material, human and social capital and the resulting six factors were entered into Poisson regression models of young adult obesity. Public assistance and economic hardship factors differentially predicted obesity across race/ethnicity in females; higher public assistance scores positively associated with obesity in Asian and white females while higher economic hardship positively associated with obesity in Asians and Hispanics. Understanding the impact of distinct SES dimensions provides salient information for reducing racial/ethnic disparity in health.
Presented in Poster Session 7