Measuring early childhood health and health disparities: A new approach

Marianne Messersmith Hillemeier, Stephanie Trea Lanza, Nancy Susan Landale, Ralph Salvador Oropesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Efforts to improve the health of U.S. children and reduce disparities have been hampered by lack of a rigorous way to summarize the multi-dimensional nature of children's health. This research employed a novel statistical approach to measurement to provide an integrated, comprehensive perspective on early childhood health and disparities. Nationally-representative data (n = 8,800) came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort. Latent class analysis was used to classify health at 48 months, incorporating health conditions, functioning, and aspects of physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Health disparities by gender, poverty, race/ethnicity, and birthweight were examined. Over half of all children were classified as healthy using multidimensional latent class methodology; others fell into one of seven less optimal health statuses. The analyses highlighted pervasive disparities in health, with poor children at increased risk of being classified into the most disadvantaged health status consisting of chronic conditions and a cluster of developmental problems including low cognitive achievement, poor social skills, and behavior problems. Children with very low birthweight had the highest rate of being in the most disadvantaged health status (25.2 %), but moderately low birthweight children were also at elevated risk (7.9 vs. 3.4 % among non-low birthweight children). Latent class analysis provides a uniquely comprehensive picture of child health and health disparities that identifies clusters of problems experienced by some groups. The findings underscore the importance of continued efforts to reduce preterm birth, and to ameliorate poverty's effects on children's health through access to high-quality healthcare and other services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1852-1861
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Fingerprint

Health
Health Status
Vulnerable Populations
Poverty
Quality of Health Care
Social Behavior
Social Problems
Premature Birth
Longitudinal Studies
Parturition
Child Health
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Hillemeier, Marianne Messersmith ; Lanza, Stephanie Trea ; Landale, Nancy Susan ; Oropesa, Ralph Salvador. / Measuring early childhood health and health disparities : A new approach. In: Maternal and child health journal. 2013 ; Vol. 17, No. 10. pp. 1852-1861.
@article{f83f66d7bf354070b8248637932ae65f,
title = "Measuring early childhood health and health disparities: A new approach",
abstract = "Efforts to improve the health of U.S. children and reduce disparities have been hampered by lack of a rigorous way to summarize the multi-dimensional nature of children's health. This research employed a novel statistical approach to measurement to provide an integrated, comprehensive perspective on early childhood health and disparities. Nationally-representative data (n = 8,800) came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort. Latent class analysis was used to classify health at 48 months, incorporating health conditions, functioning, and aspects of physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Health disparities by gender, poverty, race/ethnicity, and birthweight were examined. Over half of all children were classified as healthy using multidimensional latent class methodology; others fell into one of seven less optimal health statuses. The analyses highlighted pervasive disparities in health, with poor children at increased risk of being classified into the most disadvantaged health status consisting of chronic conditions and a cluster of developmental problems including low cognitive achievement, poor social skills, and behavior problems. Children with very low birthweight had the highest rate of being in the most disadvantaged health status (25.2 {\%}), but moderately low birthweight children were also at elevated risk (7.9 vs. 3.4 {\%} among non-low birthweight children). Latent class analysis provides a uniquely comprehensive picture of child health and health disparities that identifies clusters of problems experienced by some groups. The findings underscore the importance of continued efforts to reduce preterm birth, and to ameliorate poverty's effects on children's health through access to high-quality healthcare and other services.",
author = "Hillemeier, {Marianne Messersmith} and Lanza, {Stephanie Trea} and Landale, {Nancy Susan} and Oropesa, {Ralph Salvador}",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s10995-012-1205-6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "17",
pages = "1852--1861",
journal = "Maternal and Child Health Journal",
issn = "1092-7875",
publisher = "Springer GmbH & Co, Auslieferungs-Gesellschaf",
number = "10",

}

Measuring early childhood health and health disparities : A new approach. / Hillemeier, Marianne Messersmith; Lanza, Stephanie Trea; Landale, Nancy Susan; Oropesa, Ralph Salvador.

In: Maternal and child health journal, Vol. 17, No. 10, 01.01.2013, p. 1852-1861.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Measuring early childhood health and health disparities

T2 - A new approach

AU - Hillemeier, Marianne Messersmith

AU - Lanza, Stephanie Trea

AU - Landale, Nancy Susan

AU - Oropesa, Ralph Salvador

PY - 2013/1/1

Y1 - 2013/1/1

N2 - Efforts to improve the health of U.S. children and reduce disparities have been hampered by lack of a rigorous way to summarize the multi-dimensional nature of children's health. This research employed a novel statistical approach to measurement to provide an integrated, comprehensive perspective on early childhood health and disparities. Nationally-representative data (n = 8,800) came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort. Latent class analysis was used to classify health at 48 months, incorporating health conditions, functioning, and aspects of physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Health disparities by gender, poverty, race/ethnicity, and birthweight were examined. Over half of all children were classified as healthy using multidimensional latent class methodology; others fell into one of seven less optimal health statuses. The analyses highlighted pervasive disparities in health, with poor children at increased risk of being classified into the most disadvantaged health status consisting of chronic conditions and a cluster of developmental problems including low cognitive achievement, poor social skills, and behavior problems. Children with very low birthweight had the highest rate of being in the most disadvantaged health status (25.2 %), but moderately low birthweight children were also at elevated risk (7.9 vs. 3.4 % among non-low birthweight children). Latent class analysis provides a uniquely comprehensive picture of child health and health disparities that identifies clusters of problems experienced by some groups. The findings underscore the importance of continued efforts to reduce preterm birth, and to ameliorate poverty's effects on children's health through access to high-quality healthcare and other services.

AB - Efforts to improve the health of U.S. children and reduce disparities have been hampered by lack of a rigorous way to summarize the multi-dimensional nature of children's health. This research employed a novel statistical approach to measurement to provide an integrated, comprehensive perspective on early childhood health and disparities. Nationally-representative data (n = 8,800) came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort. Latent class analysis was used to classify health at 48 months, incorporating health conditions, functioning, and aspects of physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Health disparities by gender, poverty, race/ethnicity, and birthweight were examined. Over half of all children were classified as healthy using multidimensional latent class methodology; others fell into one of seven less optimal health statuses. The analyses highlighted pervasive disparities in health, with poor children at increased risk of being classified into the most disadvantaged health status consisting of chronic conditions and a cluster of developmental problems including low cognitive achievement, poor social skills, and behavior problems. Children with very low birthweight had the highest rate of being in the most disadvantaged health status (25.2 %), but moderately low birthweight children were also at elevated risk (7.9 vs. 3.4 % among non-low birthweight children). Latent class analysis provides a uniquely comprehensive picture of child health and health disparities that identifies clusters of problems experienced by some groups. The findings underscore the importance of continued efforts to reduce preterm birth, and to ameliorate poverty's effects on children's health through access to high-quality healthcare and other services.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84893655211&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84893655211&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10995-012-1205-6

DO - 10.1007/s10995-012-1205-6

M3 - Article

C2 - 23225206

AN - SCOPUS:84893655211

VL - 17

SP - 1852

EP - 1861

JO - Maternal and Child Health Journal

JF - Maternal and Child Health Journal

SN - 1092-7875

IS - 10

ER -