Ethnic disparities in problem behaviour in adolescence contribute to ethnic disparities in social class in adulthood
Background: It is important for prevention of social class disparities to know how ethnic disparities in social class arise among migrant children. We contribute to this understanding by examining the role of problem behaviour in adolescence. Methods: Prospective observational study with 753 Dutch native and 217 Turkish migrant adolescents (11-18 year) followed for 10 years. Internalising and externalising problems were assessed in adolescence and employment status and occupational level were assessed in adulthood. The difference in odds ratios (OR) before and after adjustment for internalising and externalising problems was an indication of the predictive value of disparities in internalising and externalising problems for the development of social class disparities. Results: A total of 135 (62%) of the Turkish and 602 (80%) of the Dutch adults were employed. Internalising and externalising problems were not associated with employment status. Of the employed, 65 (48%) Turkish and 179 (30%) Dutch adults worked in low-level occupations (p < 0.0001). Internalising and externalising problems were associated with both ethnicity and occupation. The OR for low-level occupation for Turkish adults was 1.78 (1.19-2.65), indicating ethnic disparities. Adjustment for internalising problems lowered the OR with 36% to 1.50 (0.97-2.31), and adjustment for externalising problems lowered it with 8% to 1.72 (1.15-2.57). Findings were similar for men and women and did not vary by age. Conclusions: Ethnic disparities in occupational level in adulthood could partly be attributed to disparities in mental health between Turkish migrants and Dutch natives in adolescence. Prevention of ethnic disparities in mental health at young age may therefore also contribute to the prevention of occupational differences in adulthood.
|Keywords||Ethnic disparities, Mental health, Occupation, Prospective study, Socio-economic disparities|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-006-0129-0, hdl.handle.net/1765/36531|
van Oort, F.V.A., van der Ende, J., Crijnen, A.A.M., Verhulst, F.C., Mackenbach, J.P., & Joung, I.M.A.. (2007). Ethnic disparities in problem behaviour in adolescence contribute to ethnic disparities in social class in adulthood. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: the international journal for research in social and genetic epidemiology and mental health services, 42(1), 50–56. doi:10.1007/s00127-006-0129-0