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Socioeconomic determinants of health related quality of life in childhood and adolescence: results from a European study


Study objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of two different socioeconomic status (SES) measures on child and adolescent self reported health related quality of life (HRQoL). The European KIDSCREEN project aims at simultaneous developing, testing, and implementing a generic HRQoL instrument.

Design and setting: The pilot version of the questionnaire was applied in school surveys to students from 8 to 18 years of age, as well as to their parents, together with such determinants of health status as two SES indicators, the parental educational status and the number of material goods in the family (FAS, family affluence scale).

Participants: Students from seven European countries: 754 children (39.8%; mean: 9.8 years), and 1142 adolescents (60.2 %; mean: 14.1 years), as well as their respective parents.

Main results: In children, a higher parental educational status was found to have a significant positive impact on the KIDSCREEN dimensions: physical wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, bullying and perceived financial resources. Increased risk of low HRQoL was detected for adolescents in connection with their physical wellbeing. Family wealth plays a part for children’s physical wellbeing, parent relations and home life, and perceived financial resources. For adolescents, family wealth furthermore predicts HRQoL on all KIDSCREEN dimensions.

Conclusions: There is evidence to suggest that exposure to low parental educational status may result in a decreased HRQoL in childhood, whereas reduced access to material (and thereby social) resources may lead to a lower HRQoL especially in adolescence.

  • SES, socioeconomic status
  • HRQoL, health related quality of life
  • SES
  • health related quality of life
  • childhood
  • adolescence

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