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Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University Working Paper Series, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University

No 1/2012:
Childhood Peer Status and the Clustering of Adverse Living Conditions in Adulthood

Ylva B. Almquist () and Lars Brännström ()

Abstract: Within the context of the school class, children attain a social position in the peer hierarchy to which varying amounts of status are attached. Several studies have shown that children’s peer status is associated with a wide range of social and health-related outcomes. These studies commonly target separate outcomes, paying little attention to the fact that such circumstances are likely to go hand in hand. The overarching aim of the present study was therefore to examine the impact of childhood peer status on the clustering of living conditions in adulthood. Based on a 1953 cohort born in Stockholm, Sweden, multinomial regression analysis demonstrated that children who had lower peer status also had exceedingly high risks of ending up in more problem-burdened clusters as adults. Moreover, these associations remained after adjusting for a variety of family-related circumstances. We conclude that peer status constitutes a central aspect of children’s upbringing with important consequences for subsequent life chances, over and above the influences originating from the family.

Keywords: childhood; peer status; cohort; life course; outcome profiles; living conditions; (follow links to similar papers)

37 pages, January 11, 2012

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