Do "between children" and "across children" in following sentence have different meanings?

In addition, wide health inequalities persist between and across children in various sociodemographic groups in the United States. In spite of the changing nature of health care for children overall, child morbidity remains disproportionately high in children from lower sociodemographic homes. Children from more deprived and disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have poorer health and higher rates of mortality from major diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in adulthood. Especially for children, the origins of poor health can be multiple and complex, and addressing the root causes can be equally complex. Wider determinants — the influencing factors responsible for everyone’s health— are more significant for children.

Friedman, H. S. (Ed.). (2011). The Oxford handbook of health psychology. Oxford University Press.

1 Answer 1


These prepositions highlight the difference between those children in the same and in different sociodemographic classes.

Between refers to those in the same class, and across refers to those in different classes. So it's saying that children in the same class don't have the same levels of health ("inequalities between...") and children in different classes also have different levels of health ("inequalities across...")

  • Thank so much. But according to the text (I added some to my question) I thought the author just wanted to say that children in different classes have different levels of health. What do you think?
    – user52346
    Oct 16, 2019 at 13:03
  • 1
    Given the rest of the text I would agree with you and say that the 'between and across' is just to emphasise that there are many levels of inequality. I also wouldn't worry too much about it as the difference in meaning is low. Not like the difference between 'in the fridge' and 'on the fridge' where the different prepositions really mean two distinct things.
    – CodeNovice
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:59

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