The Long-Term Health Consequences of Growing Up with Smokers and Problem Drinkers

Daphne Kuo, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This paper studies the relationship between health at midlife, and growing up with smokers and problem drinkers. The data are seniors of the Class 1957 in the Wisconsin Longitudinal study. Multivariate regressions were used. The dependent variables included physical health, mental ability, and mental health. An array of measures of family background and later life events and attainment were controlled. Growing up with smokers and/or problem drinkers have direct negative influences on physical health at midlife, such as self-reported health, disability, cancer, number of diagnosed diseases, number of somatic symptoms, height, smoking, drinking, and exercises. Smoking and drinking status were also controlled in equation of physical health, except height, smoking, drinking, and exercises. Those growing up with problem drinkers tend to be more depressed (CES-D), and more neurotic (BIG 5) than others. However, they tend to score higher in openedness (BIG 5), autonomy (Ryff's PWB), and cognitive ability (adult WAIS).

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology