Western University SociologyFaculty of Social Science

Adult Socioeconomic Status, Childhood Adversity, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Health Risk

  • Overview

  • Progress

  • Project Team

One unanswered question in the sociological literature on health inequality is how to theoretically and empirically integrate life course processes of cumulative advantage with processes of intergenerational transmission. The main aim of this study is to improve the understanding of the cumulative processes linking socioeconomic status to health over the life course and across generations. We use a unique data source that follows the offspring of original sample families of a large U.S. survey as they form their own households to examine the following research questions:  

  1. To what extent is there intergenerational continuity in health risk trajectories? Are the adult children of parents in disadvantaged health risk groups more likely to also experience a disadvantaged trajectory of health?
  2. Does the intergenerational transmission of social and economic resources from parents to children in early life set children on a pathway of health advantage or disadvantage?  
  3. To what extent do adult resources alter the pathway between childhood environment and health?  

Analysis of data from longitudinal, multigenerational studies provides us with a unique opportunity to better understand the long-term health consequences of childhood adversity, the extent of intergenerational transmissions of health risk, as well as the relationship between adult resources and health.


Principal Investigator

Kim Shuey, Ph.D.
Sociology, Faculty of Social Science
The University of Western Ontario

Andrea Willson, Ph. D.
Sociology, Faculty of Social Science
The University of Western Ontario

Papers and Publications

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Principal Investigator:

Kim Shuey, Associate Professor
Graduate Chair, Sociology

Kim Shuey
  • Health inequality across the life course
  • Work, health, and aging in the new economy
  • Nonstandard and precarious employment

kshuey@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x85135
SSC 5426
office hours: by appointment
Faculty Profile

Andrea Willson, Associate Professor

Andrea Willson
  • Social inequality of the life course
  • Longitudinal data methods
  • Socioeconomic status and health

willson@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x85132
SSC 5423
Faculty Profile