Document Detail

Historical records as a source of information for childhood socioeconomic status: results from a pilot study of decedents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18395465     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE: The validity of parental occupation recalled by adult children is not established, yet it is commonly used to measure childhood socioeconomic status (SES). We investigated the feasibility of using data from historical records to validate recalled parental SES. METHODS: Data from death certificates and applications for Social Security numbers (parents' names, date and place of birth) were used to locate birth certificates and 1930 census records of 416 decedents in Forsyth County, NC, to verify parental occupation and childhood residence. RESULTS: Birth certificates and/or census records were located for 85% of decedents. Of 257 for whom both records were searched, both were found for 60%, only a census record for 10%, and only a birth certificate for 24%. Among those with father's occupation recorded on both records (n = 138), occupational category matched on 89% of records (kappa = 0.86). Place of residence/birth, which can be linked with census-based county socioeconomic indicators, was also highly concordant across records. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that birth and census records can be located for most decedents and that the childhood SES data contained therein is highly concordant. Thus they are an alternative to recalled childhood SES and a source of validation data in life course studies.
Kathryn M Rose; J Stephen Perhac; Heejung Bang; Gerardo Heiss
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of epidemiology     Volume:  18     ISSN:  1873-2585     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann Epidemiol     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-04-24     Completed Date:  2008-06-19     Revised Date:  2008-06-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9100013     Medline TA:  Ann Epidemiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  357-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adult Children*
Atherosclerosis / economics,  epidemiology,  etiology
Databases, Factual
Feasibility Studies
Mental Recall*
Middle Aged
Monte Carlo Method
North Carolina / epidemiology
Pilot Projects
Records as Topic
Reproducibility of Results
Risk Factors
Social Class*
Grant Support
N01-55015//PHS HHS; N01-55016//PHS HHS; N01-55017//PHS HHS; N01-55018//PHS HHS; N01-55019//PHS HHS; N01-55020//PHS HHS; N01-55021//PHS HHS; N01-55022//PHS HHS; P30 AG024376/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01-HL064142/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS

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