Does class matter? SES and psychosocial health among Hungarian adolescents
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.
Volume (Year): 53 (2001)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
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