Education mediates the relationship of parental socioeconomic status with subjective adult oral health

Faten Haider, Eduardo Bernabé*, Elsa Karina Delgado-Angulo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Evidence shows that both socioeconomic status (SES) during childhood and education are associated with adult oral health. However, whether the range of opportunities families have regarding their children’s education mediate the effect of childhood disadvantage on oral health later in life remains unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mediating role of education in the association between parental SES and subjective oral health status in middle adulthood. Methods: Data from 6703 members of the British Cohort Study 1970 were analyzed. Parental SES was measured using the 7-class National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) at age 10 years. Five measures of education (type of high school, highest qualification, age left full-time education, status of institution and field of study) were obtained from ages 16 and 42 years. Subjective oral health was measured with a single global item at age 46 years. Causal mediation analysis was performed, using a weighting-based approach, to evaluate how much of the effect of parental SES on subjective oral health was mediated by the measures of education separately and jointly. Results: Overall, 23.6% of individuals reported poor oral health. Parental SES was associated with every measure of education, and they were also associated with subjective oral health in regression models adjusted for confounders. The effect of parental SES on subjective oral health was partially mediated by each measure of education, with a proportion mediated of 53.2% for the institution status, 46.5% for the field of study, 42.8% for the school type, 38.9% for the highest qualification earned and 38.4% for the age when full-time education was discontinued. The proportion of the effect of parental SES on subjective oral health jointly mediated by all measures of education was 81.1%. Conclusion: This study found a substantial mediating role of education in the association between parental SES and subjective oral health in middle adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
JournalHealth and quality of life outcomes
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Education
  • Life course perspective
  • Mediation
  • Oral health
  • Socioeconomic factors

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