Sociology, Department of


ORCID IDs Blakelee R. Kemp

Date of this Version



Kemp, Blakelee R. 2019. “Economic hardship during childhood increases the risk of premature death later in life.” Lerner Center Population Health Research Brief Series. DATA SLICE Issue Number 5 May 21, 2019.


Experiencing economic hardship during childhood can have long lasting consequences for health. This is especially true for individuals who face multiple forms of hardship early in life. Adults over the age of 50 who reported experiencing several types of childhood economic hardship, such as moving due to financial difficulties or having poor family finances, were more likely to die over the next 10 years than adults who reported no economic hardship during childhood. In fact, experiencing two or more economic hardships during childhood was associated with a 23% increase in the risk of death from any cause. The trend indicates that with each additional economic hardship experienced during childhood, the risk of early death during adulthood increases.