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Association of public care in childhood with social, criminal, cognitive, and health outcomes in middle-age: six decades of follow-up of members of the 1958 Birth Cohort Study
Carlos de Mestral
Tiffany H Xie
G David Batty
Novel Coronavirus
Acceso Abierto
Objectives: To examine if there is an association between childhood public care and adverse life outcomes in middle-age. Methods: We used data from the United Kingdom 1958 birth cohort study of 18,558 babies. Parents of study members were surveyed at age 7, 11, and 16 years when experience of public care of their offspring was ascertained. An array of outcomes were self-reported by cohort members at age 42 years, and a cognitive test battery was administered at age 50. Results: 420 (3.8%) of 11,160 individuals in the analytical sample experienced childhood public care prior to age 16. Net of confounding factors, public care was linked to half of the twenty-eight non-mutually exclusive endpoints captured in middle-age with the most consistent effects apparent for psychosocial characteristics: 6/7 sociodemographic, 2/2 anti-social, 3/3 psychological, 1/3 health behaviours, 2/8 somatic health, and 0/5 cognitive. Conclusions: The present study suggests that known associations between childhood care and outcomes in adolescence and early adulthood are also seen in middle-age. Policy implications: Practitioners in health and social services should perhaps more closely monitor care graduates. Keywords: public care, out-of-home care, looked after children, life course, birth cohort study ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. ### Funding Statement GDB is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MR/P023444/1) and the US National Institute on Aging (1R56AG052519-01; 1R01AG052519-01A1). CdM was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation when this work was initiated. ### Author Declarations All relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript. Yes All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. Yes Data are available from the Uk Data Archive. <>
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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