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Study Finds That Childhood Health Status Has an Impact on Political Ideology Later in Life


Julie Pacheco, director of the Politics and Policy Research Program, published an article finding that a relationship exists between health status as a child and political ideology as an adult. The study was co-authored by Viji Diane Kannan, Kelly Peters, Susan Lapham, and Benjamin Chapman was was published in the journal SSM - Population Health.

Using a longitudinal cohort sample, the results found that better health among children under age 10 was positively related to conservative political ideology among adults over the age of 64. Additionally, adults who had excellent health as children were 30 percentage points more likely to report conservative ideology than liberal ideology. The authors also identify how childhood health potentially acts as a mediator, bridging social, environmental, and policy contexts with political ideology, and they examine the potential of social policy influencing the nexus of political life and population health.

Find the full study here.