International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 107–110

Education and depressive symptoms in 22 European countries


    • Department of Medical SociologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • Elise Pattyn
    • Department of SociologyGhent University
  • Piet Bracke
    • Department of SociologyGhent University
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-010-0202-z

Cite this article as:
von dem Knesebeck, O., Pattyn, E. & Bracke, P. Int J Public Health (2011) 56: 107. doi:10.1007/s00038-010-0202-z



Variations in the association between education and depressive symptoms in 22 European countries are investigated.


Analyses are based on the European Social Survey Round 3 (N = 34,443). Education was coded according to the International Standard Classification of Education. Depressive symptoms are measured by the shortened Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D 8).


The results of multiple logistic regressions show that people with low education have elevated risks of experiencing a high score of depressive symptoms. Relatively large inequalities were observed among both sexes for Hungary and Slovenia, small and non-significant inequalities for Austria, Denmark, and Estonia.


The results indicate that educational inequalities in depressive symptoms are a generalized although not invariant phenomenon.


Educational inequalitiesDepressive symptomsEuropeInternational differences

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© Swiss School of Public Health 2010