Online Program

Childhood trauma and its influence on occupational prestige in young adulthood

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cristina Fernandez, MSEd, Department of Epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, RI
Sharon L. Christ, PhD, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
William G. LeBlanc, PhD, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
Kristopher L. Arheart, Ed.D., Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Biostatistics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Noella A. Dietz, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Kathryn E. McCollister, PhD, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Lora E. Fleming, MD, PhD, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro, United Kingdom
Peter Muennig, MD, MPH, Department of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University, New York, NY
Carles Muntaner, PhD, MHS, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Dalla Lana School of Public Health & Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
David J. Lee, PhD, Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Introduction: Childhood trauma is associated with numerous long-term mental health consequences. However, there is a lack of research examining its effect on future occupational prestige, the shared belief about the “worthiness” of a profession. Methods: Data were analyzed from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, a nationally representative prospective survey. Our sample is comprised of youth aged 12-16 at baseline in 1997 and interviewed annually through 2009 (ages 24-28; N=7,772). Cumulative self-reported childhood trauma was summed across five areas: 1) violent crime; 2) bullying; 3) gun violence; 4) perceived school safety; and 5) threatened violence. After each participant turned 18, his/her yearly 2002 Census job code was assigned a yearly occupational prestige score based on the 1989 General Social Survey rankings. Covariate-adjusted marginal linear regression models were used to estimate the effects of trauma and covariates on prestige for different race/ethnicity (white, Black, Hispanic) and gender subgroups. Results: Results indicated that white females (mean=1.17±standard error =0.19; p<0.00) and white males (mean=0.35±0.18; p=0.04) lost the most prestige points in future occupations for every childhood traumatic occurrence. More traumatic occurrences resulted in a slower growth in occupational prestige over time for white females, with each additional victimization occurrence associated with an annual loss in prestige of 0.29 points (p<0.05). Discussion: Results indicate that white males and females were the most severely affected groups with respect to their future occupation. Psychological and other social interventions specifically designed to mitigate the consequences of childhood trauma may positively impact future socioeconomic status.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how childhood trauma affects future occupational prestige Evaluate how race/ethnic and gender subgroups are differentially affected by childhood trauma Discuss the public health and economic impact of childhood trauma

Keyword(s): Occupational Health, Psychiatric Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a Psychiatric Epidemiology PhD student at Brown University, focusing on the effects of psychological trauma. I have several years of experience conducting academic research in the fields of psychology and psychiatric epidemiology. I am also a certified Cognitive Behavioral mental health clinician, with the majority of my clinical experience working with low-functioning populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.