The intergenerational persistence of mental and physical health
PHE ePoster Library. Brown H. Sep 12, 2019; 274344; 151
Dr. Heather Brown
Dr. Heather Brown
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Abstract Introduction
There is a lack of evidence on the intergenerational persistence of physical and mental health and how this has been evolving over time. It is necessary to understand how persistence in poor mental and physical health effects families to develop effective policies and interventions to promote good health and reduce health inequalities.
We utilise data from the British Household Panel Survey (1991-2008) and Understanding Society Survey (2009-2016) to investigate intergenerational correlations in physical health measured using self-assessed health and mental health measured using the GHQ-12 questionnaire. A latent physical and mental health variable is created to generate a proxy for lifetime health to reduce biases from comparing outcomes across two generations. Correlation coefficients are estimated separately by parental occupation, educational attainment and for the highest and lowest quintiles to identify inequalities in outcomes.
The intergenerational correlation in physical health has remained fairly constant over time. The intergenerational correlation in mental health as measured by GHQ has increased over time. This is more pronounced in the lowest and highest quintiles suggesting that mental health mobility is declining over time.
For the most vulnerable groups the intergenerational correlation in mental health has been increasing over time suggesting an urgent need for policy and increased funding for mental health services to improve family mental health for those with the poorest mental health. External funding details This project is funded by an Understanding Society Policy Fellowship
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