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Lecture 3

Week 3 (1).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Jason Ramsay

THE BIOLOGICAL EMBEDDING OF EARLY EXPERIENCE ANDITS EFFECTS ON HEALTH IN ADULTHOOD Socioeconomic gradient in health status exists across disease processes and shows up even in newly emergent disease Gradient appears to be an emergent property that results from the interaction between the developmental status of people and the conditions they encounter over their life courseIntroduction Although socioeconomic status in adulthoods leads to differentials in morbidity and mortality through disease onsetchildhood also plays an important role In the West higher income better education and jobs with more status prestige and decision latitude provide the most suitable niches for adult lifeo These individuals tend to enjoy the longest healthiest lives However in the processthe role of childhood is often ignored A LIFE COURSE PERSPECTIVE It is not entirely clear as to how life course perspective explains the gradientThere are 3 reasons as to why childhood needs to be considered when looking at adult health status1 Gradient replicates itself on new conditions such as heart disease during the midcentury and HIV at the end of the century It is not specific to any particular disease2 The socioeconomic gradient in health status found in adult life is paralleled by socioeconomic gradients in cognitive and behavioral development in early life In Canada and the United States these gradients are consistent by kindergarten age and are related to differential access to resources3 Longitudinal studies show that early child development and the socioeconomic status during childhood is linked to adult health statusHealthy child development involves encouragement of exploration mentoring in basic skills celebration of developmental advances guided rehearsal and extension of new skills protection from inappropriate disapproval teasing or punishment and a rich and responsive language environment Research shows that socioeconomic status during childhood affects adult health status in 3 processes
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