Project #2 - Intergenerational Processes and Aging of African-Americans Differences in black-white older-age mortality rates have persisted for over a century yet few intergenerational databases contain enough African-Americans either to examine heritability among African-Americans or to compare the heritability of characteristics between whites and blacks. This is true despite the importance of parental transmission of socioeconomic and health status to their children through their genes, epigenetic changes in their genes arising from environmental stressors, the investments they make in their children, the resources they give or bequeath to their children, the attitudes or behaviors they impart to their children, and the neighborhood in which they live. This project will create an intergenerational database of African- Americans that will provide a way to understand the mechanisms of intergenerational transmission and how intergenerational processes affect aging and longevity.
Aim 1 : Create a sample of the children of 7,000 USCT veterans who lived to 1900 linked through all of the 1850-1940 censuses, to ecological variables, and to death dates, and make the samples publicly available.
Aim 2 : Investigate the impact of early life conditions and family background on later life longevity. In particular, investigate the effect of early life disease and nutritional environment on the later life longevity of children born after the war;investigate the effect on children's later life longevity of father's wartime experiences;paternal longevity;paternal pension recipiency;whether the father was free or a slave at enlistment;and whether socioeconomic status, family structure, and children's early life experiences mitigate the effects of paternal health shocks. We will examine whether effects are stronger for males or females and whether socioeconomic status, family structure, and children's early life experiences mitigate the effects of paternal health shocks. In response to the reviewers, Aim #2 will receive primary focus in the proposed research.
Aim 3 : Investigate the impact on children's literacy and adult socioeconomic status of paternal wartime experiences and how these effects are mediated by family structure, children's experiences &paternal SES.
Aim 4 : Examine the choice for children and their elderly parents between co-residence, separate nearby households, and separate distant households.
Aim 5 (with Project #1): Examine differences by race in intergenerational mobility and the inheritance of longevity, the effects of father's wartime stress, and residential choices of children and their elderly parents.
The intergenerational database created by this project will help us understand how intergenerational factors lead to the persistence of racial inequality in longevity and socioeconomic status. The database will be a unique resource for understanding the mechanisms of intergenerational transmission and how intergenerational processes affect aging and longevity among African-Americans.
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