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How adolescent health influences education and employment: investigating longitudinal associations and mechanisms

Hale, DR; Viner, RM; (2018) How adolescent health influences education and employment: investigating longitudinal associations and mechanisms. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , 72 (6) pp. 465-470. 10.1136/jech-2017-209605. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Education is recognised as a strong determinant of health. Yet there is increasing concern that health in adolescence may also influence educational attainments and future life chances. We examined associations between health in early adolescence and subsequent academic and employment outcomes, exploring potential mediators of these relationships to inform intervention strategies. METHODS: We used data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England. Adolescent health was measured at waves 1 and 2. Outcomes included educational attainment at age 16 years and being NEET (not in education, employment or training) at age 19 years. Associations were adjusted for ethnicity, area-level deprivation and early adolescent academic attainment. Where significant associations were identified, we examined the role of hypothesised mediators including attendance and truancy, classroom behaviour, substance use and psychological distress. RESULTS: Health conditions in early adolescence predicted poor subsequent education and employment outcomes (ORs ranged from 1.25 to 1.72) with the exception of long-term chronic conditions and NEET status, which were unassociated. The most consistent mediating variable was social exclusion. School behaviour, truancy and substance use were significant mediators for mental health. Long-term absences mediated associations between mental health and physical health and later outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Health is a key component of academic and vocational achievement. Investment in health is a way of improving life chances. The identification of key mediators such as social exclusion and truancy indicate areas where screening for health conditions and provision of targeted support could improve educational, employment and health outcomes.

Type: Article
Title: How adolescent health influences education and employment: investigating longitudinal associations and mechanisms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-209605
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2017-209605
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, adolescents cg, unemployment, education, mental health, CHRONIC PHYSICAL ILLNESS, ACADEMIC-ACHIEVEMENT, MENTAL-HEALTH, SCHOOL, CHILDREN, INEQUALITIES, METAANALYSIS, DISTRESS, COHORT
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053178
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