Influence of social support on health among gender and socio-economic groups of adolescents

A Geckova*, JP van Dijk, R Stewart, JW Groothoff, D Post

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: The influence of social support on health was explored among gender and socio-economic groups with the aim of contributing to the explanation of socio-economic health differences among Slovak adolescents. Methods: The sample consisted of 2616 Slovak adolescents (52.4% male, 47.6% female, mean age 15 years). The data were assessed by a self-reported questionnaire including measures of social support, socio-economic status and health. Results: There are significant gender differences in social support, which are unfavourable for males. On the other hand, there are significant gender differences in health, unfavourable for females. Low social support is significantly related to worse health. There are significant socio-economic differences in both health and social support, which are unfavourable for lower socio-economic groups. Three groups, females, adolescents from lower socio-economic groups, and also adolescents reporting low social support, less frequently consider their health as excellent or very good. Females suffer from more health complaints, report worse psychological health, vitality and mental health in comparison to males, to adolescents from higher socio-economic groups, and to adolescents reporting high social support. Males and adolescents from lower socio-economic groups more frequently reported low social support in comparison to females and adolescents from higher socio-economic groups. No significant differences in the influence of social support on health among gender and socio-economic groups of adolescents were confirmed. Conclusion: Social support is related to health and it is unequally distributed among gender and socio-economic groups. Social support had a positive impact on health, but this effect was independent of gender and socio-economic groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2003

Keywords

  • gender
  • health
  • Slovak adolescents
  • social support
  • socio-economic status
  • LIFE STRESS
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS
  • INEQUALITIES
  • WEST
  • SCOTLAND
  • YOUTH
  • FRIENDSHIPS
  • CHILDREN
  • PATTERNS
  • SYMPTOMS

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