Using latent class analysis to investigate enduring effects of intersectional social disadvantage on long-term vocational and financial outcomes in the 20-year prospective Chicago longitudinal study


Background:Class and social disadvantage have long been identified as significant factors in the etiology and epidemiology of psychosis. Few studies have explicitly examined the impact of intersecting social disadvantage on long-term employment and financial independence.

Methods:We applied latent class analysis (LCA) to 20-year longitudinal data from participants with affective and non-affective psychosis ( n = 256) within the Chicago Longitudinal Research. LCA groups were modeled using multiple indicators of pre-morbid disadvantage (parental social class, educational attainment, race, gender, and work and social functioning prior to psychosis onset). The comparative longitudinal work and financial functioning of LCA groups were then examined.

Results:We identified three distinct latent classes: one comprised entirely of White participants, with the highest parental class and highest levels of educational attainment; a second predominantly working-class group, with equal numbers of Black and White participants; and a third with the lowest parental social class, lowest levels of education and a mix of Black and White participants. The latter, our highest social disadvantage group experienced significantly poorer employment and financial outcomes at all time-points, controlling for diagnosis, symptoms, and hospitalizations prior to baseline. Contrary to our hypotheses, on most measures, the two less disadvantaged groups did not significantly differ from each other.

Conclusions:Our analyses add to a growing literature on the impact of multiple forms of social disadvantage on long-term functional trajectories, underscoring the importance of proactive attention to sociostructural disadvantage early in treatment, and the development and evaluation of interventions designed to mitigate ongoing social stratification.

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