Advertisement

Variation in Generational Perceptions of Child Health and Well-being

Published:September 12, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2017.09.004

      Abstract

      Objective

      To assess adults' perceptions regarding the health and well-being of children today relative to their own health and well-being as youth and the potential for intergenerational differences in those perceptions.

      Methods

      A cross-sectional, Internet-based survey of a nationally representative household sample was conducted using GfK Custom Research's Web-enabled KnowledgePanel, a probability-based panel representative of the US population. We assessed perceptions of children's health and well-being today compared to when respondents were growing up, including physical and mental health; and children's education, exercise, diet, health care, safety of communities, and emotional support from families, groups, and organizations.

      Results

      Overall, 1330 (65%) of 2047 adult respondents completed the survey. Only 26% of respondents believed that the current physical health of children, and 14% that the current mental health of children, is better today than when they were growing up. There was a significant trend among generations, with a greater proportion of older generations perceiving the physical health of children to be better today. Only 15% of respondents reported the chances for a child to grow up with good mental health in the future are “better” now than when they were growing up.

      Conclusions

      Adults across all generations in the United States today view children's health as unlikely to meet the goals of the American Dream of continuous improvement. Although demographic changes require continued focus on our aging population, we must equally recognize the importance of advancing a healthy future for our nation's children, who will assume the mantle of our future.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Academic Pediatrics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Adams J.
        The Epic of America.
        Little, Brown, Boston, MA1931
        • Lesley B.
        Invest in Kids: Restoring the American Dream.
        (Huffington Post)2014 (Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-lesley/invest-in-kids-restoring-_b_4886707.html. Accessed August 16, 2017)
        • Srinivas V.
        • Goradia V.
        The Future of Wealth in the United States.
        Deloitte University Press, 2015 (Available at: https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/industry/investment-management/us-generational-wealth-trends.html. Accessed August 16, 2017)
        • Tankersley J.
        American Dream Collapsing for Young Adults, Study Says, as Odds Plunge that Children Will Earn More Than Their Parents.
        (Washington Post)2016 (Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/08/american-dream-collapsing-for-young-americans-study-says-finding-plunging-odds-that-children-earn-more-than-their-parents. Accessed August 16, 2017)
        • Wisman J.
        Wage stagnation, rising inequality and the financial crisis of 2008.
        Camb J Econ. 2013; 37: 921-945
        • Stone C.
        • Trisi D.
        • Sherman A.
        • et al.
        A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality.
        Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, DC2016
      1. Dobbs R, Madgavkar A, Manyika J, et al. Poorer Than Their Parents? A New Perspective on Income Inequality. McKinsey & Company. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/poorer-than-their-parents-a-new-perspective-on-income-inequality. Accessed September 16, 2017.

        • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        Ten Great Public Health Achievements—United States, 2001-2010.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011; 60: 619-623
        • Clark S.
        • Singer D.
        • Matos-Moreno A.
        • et al.
        Mental Health, Racial Inequities Lead 2016 Top 10 Child Health Concerns.
        (C. S. Mott Children's Hospital)2016 (Available at: http://mottnpch.org/reports-surveys/mental-health-racial-inequities-lead-2016-top-10-child-health-concerns. Accessed September 16, 2017)
      2. Healthy People 2020. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC2016
      3. Policy Priorities 2016. National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington, DC2016
      4. Keeping the Aging Population Healthy. Council of State Governments’ Healthy States Initiative, Washington, DC2007
        • Freed G.
        • Fant K.
        The impact of the “aging of America” on children.
        Health Aff (Milwood). 2004; 23: 168-174
        • Eisenberg D.
        • Freed G.
        Reassessing how society prioritizes the health of young people.
        Health Aff (Milwood). 2007; 26: 345-354
      5. C. S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. C. S. Mott Children's Hospital, 2016. Available at: https://mottpoll.org/about. Accessed September 16, 2017.

        • Freed G.
        • Clark S.
        • Butchart A.
        • et al.
        Sources and perceived credibility of vaccine-safety information for parents.
        Pediatrics. 2011; 127: S107-S112
        • Hanauer D.A.
        • Zheng K.
        • Singer D.C.
        • et al.
        Public awareness, perception, and use of online physician rating sites.
        JAMA. 2014; 311: 734-735
        • Freed G.
        • Dunham K.
        • Clark S.
        • et al.
        Perspectives and preferences among the general public regarding physician selection and board certification.
        J Pediatr. 2010; 156: 841-845.e841
        • Pynnonen M.
        • Handelsman J.
        • King E.F.
        • et al.
        Parent perception of newborn hearing screening: results of a US national survey.
        JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016; 142: 538-543
        • GfK
        KnowledgePanel Design Summary.
        2013 (Available at: http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/knpanel/docs/knowledgepanel(R)-design-summary-description.pdf. Accessed November 7, 2016)
        • Pew Research Center
        The Generations Defined.
        2015 (Available at: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/ft_15-05-11_millennialsdefined. Accessed March 8, 2016)
        • Rao J.N.
        • Thomas D.R.
        Analysis of categorical response data from complex surveys: an appraisal and update.
        in: Chambers R.L. Skinner C.J. Analysis of Survey Data. Wiley, New York, NY2003: 85-108
        • American Association for Public Opinion Research
        Standard Defintions Response Rate Calculator v4.0.
        2016 (Available at: http://www.aapor.org/Standards-Ethics/Standard-Definitions-(1).aspx. Accessed September 16, 2017)
        • Rosenbaum S.
        • Blum R.
        How healthy are our children?.
        Future Child. 2015; 25: 11-34
        • Currie J.
        • Schwandt H.
        Inequality in mortality decreased among the young while increasing for older adults, 1990–2010.
        Science. 2016; 352: 708-712
        • Olfson M.
        • Druss B.
        • Marcus S.
        Trends in mental health care among children and adolescents.
        N Engl J Med. 2015; 372: 2029-2038
        • Perou R.
        • Bitsko R.H.
        • Blumberg S.J.
        • et al.
        Mental health surveillance among children—United States, 2005–2011.
        MMWR Suppl. 2013; 62: 1-35
        • Twenge J.
        Time period and birth cohort differences in depressive symptoms in the US, 1982–2013.
        Soc Indic Res. 2015; 121: 437-454
        • Curtin S.
        • Warner M.
        • Hedegaard H.
        Suicide Rates for Females and Males by Race and Ethnicity: United States, 1999 and 2014.
        2016 (Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/suicide/rates_1999_2014.htm. Accessed September 16, 2017)
        • Finkelhor D.
        • Turner T.
        • Ormrod R.
        • et al.
        Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey.
        Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2009 (Available at: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227744.pdf. Accessed September 16, 2017)
        • Kim J.
        • Liu J.
        • Colabianchi N.
        • et al.
        The effect of perceived and structural neighborhood conditions on adolescents' physical activity and sedentary behaviors.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010; 164: 935-942
        • Ogden C.
        • Carroll M.
        • Kit B.
        • et al.
        Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999–2010.
        JAMA. 2012; 307: 483-490
      6. McCarthy J. Three in 10 US parents worry about child's safety at school. Gallup News, 2015. Available at: http://news.gallup.com/poll/184853/three-parents-worry-child-safety-school.aspx. Accessed September 16, 2017.