Social Determinants of Delayed Gratification among American Children

This article was originally published here

Casp J Neurol Sci. 2020 Summer;6(3):181-189. doi: 10.32598/cjns.6.22.2.


BACKGROUND: A wide array of socioeconomic status (SES) indicators tend to show differential effects for members of diverse social groups. Limited knowledge exists on ethnic variation in the effects of family income on delay discounting which is predictor of risk behaviors.

OBJECTIVES: This study tested whether the effect of family income on delayed gratification differs between Latino and non-Latino children.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: In this cross-sectional analytical study, data came from wave one of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study which included 3903 non-Latino or Latino Black or White American children between ages 9 and 10 years old. The predictor was family income. Data were collected in 21 sits in the US in 2018. The outcome was children’s delay discounting. We measured delay discounting, which reflected individuals’ tendency to assign less value to remote outcomes and rewards (inversely correlated with delayed gratification). Using SPSS 22.0, linear regression was used for data analysis.

RESULTS: According to our pooled sample regression, higher family income was associated with lower children delay discounting (Beta= -0.05, p = .021). We found a significant interaction between family income and ethnicity, suggesting that the association between family income and delay discounting is stronger for Latino than non-Latino children (Beta= -0.09, p = .043).

CONCLUSIONS: Not all ethnic disparities are due to SES gaps; differential returns of socioeconomic status indicators, such as family income, across diverse social groups also contribute to ethnic disparities in health.

PMID:33215045 | PMC:PMC7673311 | DOI:10.32598/cjns.6.22.2