ERIC Number: EJ1089603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
A School-Level Proxy Measure for Individual-level Poverty Using School-Level Eligibility for Free and Reduced-Price Meals
Day, Sophia E.; Hinterland, Kinjia; Myers, Christa; Gupta, Leena; Harris, Tiffany G.; Konty, Kevin J.
Journal of School Health, v86 n3 p204-214 Mar 2016
Background: Socioeconomic status (SES) impacts health outcomes. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), like many school-based data sources, lacks individual-level poverty information. We propose using school-level percentages of student eligibility for free/reduced-price meals (%FRPM) as a proxy for individual-level poverty. Methods: Using the New York City (NYC) 2009 YRBS, we created school-level poverty quartiles to append to individual YRBS records by ranking schools by %FRPM. We compared this with 2 other school-level poverty measures using students' home and school neighborhood-level poverty and measured the association of these 3 school-level proxies with individual's household income. Last, we evaluated health outcomes by race/ethnicity and poverty to demonstrate the importance of accounting for poverty. Results: The school-level measure that used %FRPM had the strongest association with household income. When the school-level individual poverty proxy was included in illustrative analyses using YRBS data, patterns by poverty within race/ethnicity emerged that were not seen when looking at race/ethnicity alone. Conclusions: Using a poverty measure to analyze school-based data will provide a better understanding of the impact of SES on health outcomes. Based on our evaluation, when individual-level information is not available, we propose using school-level %FRPM, which are publicly available throughout the United States.
Descriptors: Poverty, Eligibility, Lunch Programs, Race, Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, Health, Risk, Health Behavior, Evaluation Methods, Comparative Analysis, Institutional Characteristics, Family Income, Neighborhoods, Correlation, High School Students, National Surveys
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Youth Risk Behavior Survey