Background: Family social support, as a form of social capital, contributes to social health disparities at different age of life. In a life-course epidemiological perspective, the aims of our study were to examine the association between self-reported family social environment during childhood and self-reported health in young adulthood and to assess the role of family functioning during childhood as a potential mediating factor in explaining the association between family breakup in childhood and self-reported health in young adulthood. Methods. We analyzed data from the first wave of the Health, Inequalities and Social Ruptures Survey (SIRS), a longitudinal health and socio-epidemiological survey of a random sample of 3000 households initiated in the Paris metropolitan area in 2005. Sample-weighted logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the association between the quality of family social environment in childhood and self-rated health (overall health, physical health and psychological well-being) in young adults (n = 1006). We used structural equation model to explore the mediating role of the quality of family functioning in childhood in the association between family breakup in childhood and self-rated health in young adulthood. Results: The multivariate results support an association between a negative family social environment in childhood and poor self-perceived health in adulthood. The association found between parental separation or divorce in childhood and poor self-perceived health in adulthood was mediated by parent-child relationships and by having witnessed interparental violence during childhood. Conclusion: These results argue for interventions that enhance family cohesion, particularly after family disruptions during childhood, to promote health in young adulthood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health