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Using Multiple-Hierarchy Stratification and Life Course Approaches to Understand Health Inequalities: The Intersecting Consequences of Race, Gender, SES, and Age

Citation

Brown, Tyson H.; Richardson, Liana J.; Hargrove, Taylor W.; & Thomas, Courtney S. (2016). Using Multiple-Hierarchy Stratification and Life Course Approaches to Understand Health Inequalities: The Intersecting Consequences of Race, Gender, SES, and Age. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 57(2), 200-222. PMCID: PMC4905600

Abstract

This study examines how the intersecting consequences of race-ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), and age influence health inequality. We draw on multiple-hierarchy stratification and life course perspectives to address two main research questions. First, does racial-ethnic stratification of health vary by gender and/or SES? More specifically, are the joint health consequences of racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic stratification additive or multiplicative? Second, does this combined inequality in health decrease, remain stable, or increase between middle and late life? We use panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 12,976) to investigate between-and within-group differences in in self-rated health among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans. Findings indicate that the effects of racial-ethnic, gender, and SES stratification are interactive, resulting in the greatest racial-ethnic inequalities in health among women and those with higher levels of SES. Furthermore, racial-ethnic/gender/SES inequalities in health tend to decline with age. These results are broadly consistent with intersectionality and aging-as-leveler hypotheses.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022146516645165

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2016

Journal Title

Journal of Health and Social Behavior

Author(s)

Brown, Tyson H.
Richardson, Liana J.
Hargrove, Taylor W.
Thomas, Courtney S.

PMCID

PMC4905600