What is the relationship between race, wealth and health among children? There has been much epidemiological research done to investigate the association of children's health and developmental indicators with parental social economical status (SES) as measured by education level, occupation and income. However, household wealth (i.e. net worth) - which displays a distribution that is more unequal than that for income - has received little attention with respect to child health. In fact, the income and wealth distributions are not very co-linear at all (some research shows a correlation between a multiyear income measure and net worth of around .45). Also, racial wealth differences are substantial even when controlling for income. Some recent research has shown that parental net worth differences may explain a significant portion of black-white disparities in areas such as educational attainment, work patterns, teenage fertility, and welfare usage (Conley 1999). Despite such tantalizing evidence, wealth has been under-examined with respect to children's health and other aspects of development such as cognitive ability and behavior problems, where a number of racial disparities have also been shown to persist. Addressing this gap in the literature is the purpose of the current proposal. The investigators intend to examine the relationship between parental wealth and children's development, with a particular emphasis on how net worth may mediate or modify the race - child health association. The mechanism through which family wealth influences children's health and achievements will be a focus of this study. Data for this study will come from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), Child Development Supplement (CDS) and Main File.
|Yeung, W Jean; Conley, Dalton (2008) Black-white achievement gap and family wealth. Child Dev 79:303-24|