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Does class matter? SES and psychosocial health among Hungarian adolescents

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  • Piko, Bettina
  • Fitzpatrick, Kevin M.

Abstract

Previous research finds a significant relationship between socioeconomic inequalities and health status; individuals with lower income, education, and occupational prestige have and report more health problems. Interestingly, this relationship is not consistent across the life cycle; health differences among adolescents across socioeconomic groups are not as clearly defined. Using data (n=1039) on adolescents from southern Hungary, we examine the role of socioeconomic differences in predicting psychosocial health. We argue that this investigation is of particular importance in a post-communist system where the general perception of SES is undergoing significant transformation. Findings show that 'classical' SES (socioeconomic status) indicators (manual/nonmanual occupational status) were not significant predictors of psychosocial health in this sample of Hungarian adolescents. While parents' employment status as a 'objective' SES indicator had limited effect, SES self-assessment, as a subjective SES variable, proved to be a strong predictor of adolescents' psychosocial health. We discuss the implications of these findings for the broader SES-health literature with specific attention paid to the impact these relationships may have for adolescent and young adult development in a post-communist country like Hungary.

Suggested Citation

  • Piko, Bettina & Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., 2001. "Does class matter? SES and psychosocial health among Hungarian adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 817-830, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:53:y:2001:i:6:p:817-830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    2. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
    3. Godfrey, Leslie G & McAleer, Michael & McKenzie, Colin R, 1988. "Variable Addition and LaGrange Multiplier Tests for Linear and Logarithmic Regression Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 492-503, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sweeting, Helen & West, Patrick & Young, Robert & Der, Geoff, 2010. "Can we explain increases in young people's psychological distress over time?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(10), pages 1819-1830, November.
    2. Xihua Zeng & Weiwei Li & Yun Wang & Jie Li & Xiaorui Huang & Xinyao Li, 2017. "Normative Importance of Money, Family Income, and Self-Esteem: A Multilevel Latent Modeling Analysis of Data from Chinese Early Adolescents," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1247-1262, February.
    3. Jung, Se-Hwan & Tsakos, Georgios & Sheiham, Aubrey & Ryu, Jae-In & Watt, Richard G., 2010. "Socio-economic status and oral health-related behaviours in Korean adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1780-1788, June.
    4. Hamilton, Hayley A. & Noh, Samuel & Adlaf, Edward M., 2009. "Perceived financial status, health, and maladjustment in adolescence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1527-1534, April.
    5. Richter, Matthias & Erhart, Michael & Vereecken, Carine A. & Zambon, Alessio & Boyce, William & Gabhainn, Saoirse Nic, 2009. "The role of behavioural factors in explaining socio-economic differences in adolescent health: A multilevel study in 33 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 396-403, August.

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