Contextual Effects of Children's Time Use on Health

Liana C. Sayer, Ohio State University
Rachel E. Dwyer, Ohio State University

Does the rhythm of children’s everyday lives vary in different community contexts and is this variation associated with children’s physical well-being? Neighborhood effects on children’s time use are often proposed to be a key mechanism in producing observed variability in health outcomes between places, but there has been almost no research connecting the two. We plan to use the 1997 and 2002 PSID-CDS to identify profiles of health-relevant time use, based on the multiple dimensions of activity, parental engagement and monitoring, and location. We will then determine whether and how children’s time profiles vary across neighborhoods and evaluate whether neighborhood mediated variation in time profiles is associated with cross-sectional and longitudinal measures of children’s Body Mass Index (BMI). Our preliminary results suggest intriguing differences in time use associated with neighborhood variation that appear to correspond to theoretical expectations.

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Presented in Session 8: Child Health and Wellbeing in Developed Countries