Early-life Socio-economic Status and Adult Health: The Role of Positive Affect

Kyle W. Murdock, Angie S. LeRoy, Christopher P. Fagundes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to develop a further understanding of the relationship between early-life socio-economic status (SES) and adult health disparities. This was accomplished through evaluation of state indicators of positive and negative affect as mechanisms through which early-life SES was associated with susceptibility to a rhinovirus (i.e. the common cold). Analyses were conducted among 286 adults in a viral challenge study in which participants were exposed to a rhinovirus via nasal drops and cold symptoms were evaluated over a period of 5 days. Participant age, body mass index, sex, education, ethnicity, pre-challenge virus-specific antibody titres and subjective adult SES, along with virus type and season of participation, were included as covariates. Early-life SES was associated with cold incidence through state positive affect, but not state negative affect. In addition, contrast analysis indicated that the indirect effect through state positive affect was stronger than the indirect effect through state negative affect. Findings provide further support for early-life SES being an important variable associated with adult health, and that state self-reported positive affect may be an underlying mechanism associated with susceptibility to rhinoviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalStress and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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