Racial Stratification in the Accumulation of Health and Human Capital from Adolescence into Young Adulthood

Jennifer Buher Kane, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
S. Philip Morgan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
David Guilkey, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Social inequalities in health and human capital are well-documented, but less research has examined the developmental stage when such inequalities likely emerge: the transition to adulthood (THA). Recent work proposed and tested a path model tracing the development of health and human capital across the THA. We build on this work by examining how race stratifies these pathways. Couched within a cumulative dis/advantage framework, we propose that race exerts both an initial disadvantage and continuing influence on health and human capital across the THA, via disparate mechanisms. We test this supposition using an auto-regressive structural equation model, with multiple time-varying instrumental variables to statistically identify health and human capital at each time point, and population-based data (Add Health). Results provide support for this notion and reveal complex ways in which these influences operate in conjunction with one another to stratify health and human capital pathways across the THA by race.

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 Presented in Session 34. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Mortality