Original Article

International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 171-176

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Socioeconomic gradient shifts in health-related behaviour among Slovak adolescents between 1998 and 2006

  • Lukas PitelAffiliated withInstitute of Experimental Psychology, Slovak Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , Andrea Madarasova GeckovaAffiliated withMedical Faculty, Kosice Institute for Society and Health, Graduate School, PJ Safarik University KosiceMedical Faculty, Health Psychology Unit, Public Health Institute, PJ Safarik University Kosice
  • , Sijmen A. ReijneveldAffiliated withDepartment of Social Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen University
  • , Jitse P. van DijkAffiliated withMedical Faculty, Kosice Institute for Society and Health, Graduate School, PJ Safarik University KosiceDepartment of Social Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen University

Abstract

Objectives

We aimed to assess the development of the socioeconomic gradient in health-related behaviour (HRB) among Slovak adolescents between 1998 and 2006.

Methods

Data were collected in 1998 (n = 2,616; 14.9 ± 0.6 years) and in 2006 (n = 1,081; 14.3 ± 0.6 years). ORs of socioeconomic differences—as measured by parental education—were calculated for each cohort in smoking, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity, and the interactions of socioeconomic position and the time period on these behaviours were calculated.

Results

The higher odds of smoking in the low socioeconomic group compared to the high socioeconomic group decreased among boys (interaction OR 0.54), but became evident among girls (interaction OR 1.96). In alcohol consumption, no socioeconomic differences were found among boys, but the higher odds among girls from high socioeconomic position compared with those from low socioeconomic position disappeared in 2006. In physical inactivity, socioeconomic differences increased among boys but not among girls.

Conclusion

During this period, socioeconomic differences in HRB developed in a different way among boys than among girls. Prevalence rates in substance use increased especially among girls from the low socioeconomic group. This group should be particularly targeted by prevention programs.

Keywords

Socioeconomic differences Health-related behaviour Adolescents Smoking Alcohol Physical inactivity