Future Health Correlates of Stability and Change in Youth Survival Perceptions

Naomi Duke, MD, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Peditrics
University of Minnesota

April 17, 2018

In national studies, some youth report they do not believe they will live into adulthood. Belief in risk for dying early is found more often among youth of color and youth living in poverty. Low perceptions of survival may become a self-fulling prophecy as youth give up on self-care and investment in the future. Using data from all available waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health, Waves I-IV), work presented will address two questions: (1) What factors in a young person’s social environment, including household economics and resources, experiences of adversity, and school and neighborhood qualities relate to survival beliefs over time, and (2) What is the relationship between youth survival beliefs and measures of health in adulthood? The long-term goal of this work is to collaborate with youth advocates and community partners for the development of culturally relevant and community-guided interventions focused on youth envisioning healthy futures.