Adolescents’ perceptions of family social status correlate with health and life chances: A twin difference longitudinal cohort study
Joshua et al., 2020; PNAS first published January 6, 2020 , https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820845116, open access
Young people who think their families are high status tend to have better mental health than teens with a more modest perception of their families. Teenagers’ health is linked to how they view their families Socioeconomic factors are less important than an adolescent’s assessment of their family’s place in society. A teenager’s well-being can be predicted by their perception of their family’s social status. Candice Odgers at the University of California, Irvine, and her colleagues examined data from 1,116 pairs of twins born in England and Wales, who had been followed across the first two decades of life. Eighteen-year-olds who thought their families were of high social standing were less likely to smoke marijuana and have conduct problems than those who gave a lower rating to their family’s rank. A relatively high perception of family status was also correlated with good mental health and participation in education or the workforce. These correlations generally persisted even after controlling for participants’ actual socioeconomic circumstances.