- The essence of the latency model is that specific biological factors (e.g., low birth
weight) or developmental opportunities (e.g., adequate exposure to spoken language)
at critical/sensitive periods in (early) life have a lifelong impact on health and
well-being, regardless of subsequent life circumstances.
- latent effects can be difficult to disentangle from pathway effects.
This is because the pathways model acknowledges that differences in early life environment
may direct children onto different life courses.
- the prevalence of aggressive behavior in childhood does not peak in the teenage years as is
commonly thought, but rather by 24 months of age.The principal opportunity for socializing
nonaggressive behavior falls between age two and five. In turn, lack of school readiness
leads to an increased risk of failure to adjust to school as well as academic failure.
Behavioral problems and failure in school lead to low levels of mental well-being in early
- Life course influences on health status have been established, in the greatest detail,in the
1958 British Birth Cohort.Cumulative and pathway effects were confirmed:socioeconomic
conditions from birth to age 33 were shown to have a cumulative effect on self-rated health,
over and above the independent effect of level of education achieved (a pathway effect).
Latent effects were also confirmed.The
variable “parents read to child at age 7” predicted self-rated health at age 33 even after
subsequent educational attainment had been considered. The rate of growth in early
childhood, as indexed by the “percent of adult height at age 7” is also a predictorof adult
self-rated health. Finally, early behavioral adjustment is an important predictor of adult
self-rated health, even when subsequent behavioral state is taken into account.
- When this perspective is considered, then the most valid explanatory model for
the socioeconomic gradient would appear to be one that simultaneously considers
life course factors, contemporary circumstances, and the interactions between them