Housing Insecurity Linked to Poorer Teen Health Outcomes

Adolescents who experience moderately and highly insecure housing have reduced odds of excellent health
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MONDAY, July 1, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- There is an association for housing insecurity starting in infancy and poorer adolescent outcomes, according to a study published online July 1 in Pediatrics.

Kristyn A. Pierce, M.P.H., from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues created a composite measure of housing insecurity using five indicators for participants at ages 1, 3, 5, 9, and 15 years based on data from the Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to identify distinct patterns of housing insecurity, sociodemographic predictors of these patterns, and how these patterns relate to health outcomes among adolescents.

The researchers identified three trajectories of housing insecurity from infancy to adolescence: secure, moderately insecure, and highly insecure. Reduced odds of excellent health were seen for adolescents who experienced moderately and highly insecure housing (adjusted odds ratios, 0.81 and 0.67, respectively); they also experienced more depressive symptoms compared to adolescents with secure housing (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.05). Significantly higher anxiety symptoms were reported by adolescents who experienced highly insecure housing (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.06).

"Housing insecurity is preventable and addressable through policy and public health intervention," the authors write. "Future work is needed to validate a universal measure for housing insecurity and implement screening and referral procedures for families with young children to appropriate services."

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