SES Impacts on Relationships between Medical Impairments in Children Aged 5-17 and Their Functional Limitations, Health Status, and School Attendance

Roger Avery, Brown University
Michael Msall, Brown University
Brian Mayer, Brown University

Using the 19,570 children aged 5-17 in the child sample of the 1997-1998 National Health Interview Survey, we examine the relationship between medical impairments and negative outcomes, functional limitations, reported general health status, and days missed from school. We reviewed differentials in impairments by parental education, household poverty status and whether the child lived in a single parent household. We found few differences in impairments among SES groups. However SES differentials for functional limitations, general health status and days missed from school, were substantial differences. Children in advantaged situations, have fewer functional limitations, are in better general health and miss fewer days of school. We found that most of the explanation for these differences lay in the higher rate of negative outcomes for children with both impairments and lower SES. Medical usage explains some but not all of these results.

Presented in Session 97: Sociocultural Issues in Maternal and Child Health in the U.S.