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Article

Adolescent socio-economic and school-based social status, health and well-being

Citation
Sweeting H & Hunt K (2014) Adolescent socio-economic and school-based social status, health and well-being. Social Science and Medicine, 121, pp. 39-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.037

Abstract
Studies of adults and adolescents suggest subjective socio-economic status (SES) is associated with health/well-being even after adjustment for objective SES. In adolescence, objective SES may have weaker relationships with health/well-being than at other life stages; school-based social status may be of greater relevance. We investigated the associations which objective SES (residential deprivation and family affluence), subjective SES and three school-based subjective social status dimensions ("SSS-peer", "SSS-scholastic" and "SSS-sports") had with physical symptoms, psychological distress and anger among 2503 Scottish 13-15 year-olds. Associations between objective SES and health/well-being were weak and inconsistent. Lower subjective SES was associated with increased physical symptoms and psychological distress, lower SSS-peer with increased psychological distress but reduced anger, lower SSS-scholastic with increased physical symptoms, psychological distress and anger, and lower SSS-sports with increased physical symptoms and psychological distress. Associations did not differ by gender. Objective and subjective SES had weaker associations with health/well-being than did school-based SSS dimensions. These findings underline the importance of school-based SSS in adolescence, and the need for future studies to include a range of school-based SSS dimensions and several health/well-being measures. They also highlight the need for a focus on school-based social status among those working to promote adolescent health/well-being.

Keywords
Adolescent; Subjective social status; Socio-economic status; School-based social status; Peer status; Health; Psychological well-being; United Kingdom

Journal
Social Science and Medicine: Volume 121

StatusPublished
Author(s)Sweeting, Helen; Hunt, Kate
Publication date30/11/2014
Publication date online20/09/2014
Date accepted by journal19/09/2014
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/27066
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0277-9536
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