March 2015

Volume 32, Issue 1

Comparing lifecourse models of social class and adult oral health using the 1958 National Child Development Study

Authors: E. Bernabé E.K. Delgado-Angulo
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3412Angulo06

Abstract

Comparing lifecourse models of social class and adult oral health using the 1958 National Child Development Study E.K. Delgado-Angulo and E. Bernabé Objective: To identify the lifecourse model that best describes the association between social class and adult oral health. Methods: Data from 10,217 participants of the 1958 National Child Development Study were used. Social class at ages 7, 16 and 33 years were chosen to represent socioeconomic conditions during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, respectively. Two subjective oral health indicators (lifetime and past-year prevalence of persistent trouble with gums or mouth) were measured at age 33. The critical period, accumulation and social trajectories models were tested in logistic regression models and the most appropriate lifecourse model was identified using the structured modelling approach. Results: The critical period model showed that only adulthood social class was significantly associated with oral health. For the accumulation model, a monotonic gradient was found between the number of periods in manual social class and oral health; and four out of eight social trajectories were found to be distinctive. Finally, the social trajectories model was not significantly different from the saturated model indicating that it provided a good fit to the data. Conclusion: This study shows the social trajectories model was the most appropriate, in terms of model fit, to describe the association between social class and oral health. Key words: social class, oral health, cohort studies, United Kingdom, lifecourse models

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