Our study should not be interpreted as suggesting the solution to the health risks of parenting is to avoid having children altogether. Rather, we believe the current findings signal a need for an increased attentiveness to the health risks of childrearing, particularly for parents with multiple children in the home. We hope the information provided here can inform parents and their healthcare providers of the potential health risks associated with parenting.
This piece first appeared on the John Hopkins University Press blog. By the time of publication of the first edition of Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy in 1996, the possibility of national health care reform – which had not long before seemed so bright – had severely dimmed. The Clinton Administration’s proposed comprehensive health plan—perhaps…
Yet these solutions have not caught on because screening against a single criterion is so entrenched in public policy. Perhaps if Murphy’s Regulations were to become as much a part of the public policy lexicon as Murphy’s Law, attention would turn to what actually does go wrong as opposed to throwing up hands in the assumption that everything is going wrong.
Developing a roadmap for later life that includes a Third Age can help set up individuals for higher quality lives. However, making such plans are not the responsibility of individuals alone. There are significant disparities in the length and opportunities available during the Third Age. We need policies designed to ensure that young people today have resources throughout their lives so they can develop a meaningful Third Age, and in doing so, we will be able to utilize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of our current and future elders.
Overall, our study demonstrates the importance of exploring new methodological approaches when examining racial disparities in health.
My research shows job opportunities are increasing most rapidly in positions that pay less than US$30,000 thanks to automation as well as the growing demand for personal services – and the accompanying low wages. These types of jobs do not share as much in the fruits of economic growth.
But frequent, heavy alcohol consumption accelerates health decline at all stages of life. While most people know that heavy alcohol use leads to liver diseases like cirrhosis, alcohol is also a major contributor to cancer mortality.
Research has shown that there are also significant differences between racial groups when it comes to receiving vaccinations. Among adults, white adults are immunized at higher rates (45%) than black (37%) or Hispanic (34%) adults. This has significant consequences for those populations, as black and Hispanics have higher rates of influenza-related death than white populations. Since unvaccinated children and adolescents may interact more often with older unvaccinated members of these populations, the chances of spreading influenza or other diseases may dramatically increase. Vaccinating the children and adolescents of these groups may provide a buffer of protection for these adults.
Our results have helped us think about future research and implications for practitioners. Persistent depression following spousal loss hinders our ability to cope, so it is important to identify ways to help vulnerable individuals at risk of becoming depressed.
Those who study aging have known for decades that the effects of population aging are most visible in the growing proportion of the population requiring everyday care and assistance, usually by family members. If we aspire to be a society that values families, we need to do a better job supporting the needs of caregivers, particularly those who are the most vulnerable.