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Country material distribution and adolescents’ perceived health: multilevel study of adolescents in 27 countries


Objective: To assess the impact of country material distribution on adolescents’ perceptions of health.

Design: Cross sectional multilevel study.

Setting: Data were collected from the school based health behaviour in school aged children: WHO cross national study 1997/98, which includes students from 27 European and North American countries.

Participants: 12 0381 students in year 6, 8, and 10 who were attending school classes on the day of data collection.

Main result: Adolescents in countries with a high dispersion of family affluence were more likely to have self rated poor health even after controlling for individual family level of affluence and family social resources.

Conclusion: There are substantial inequalities in subjective health across European and North American countries related to the distribution of family material resources in these countries.

  • FAS, family affluence scale
  • VPC, variance partitioning coefficient
  • inequality
  • Gini
  • adolescence
  • distribution
  • multilevel

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