Predictors of Adolescent Self-rated Health
Objective: To examine what factors predict adolescents’ concepts of their health.
Methods: The study, based on the longitudinal National Population Health Survey, included 1,493 adolescents who were 12–19 at the time of interview. Sex, age, grade, family structure, income, disability, chronic health problems, social supports, social involvement, school/work involvement, smoking, alcohol bingeing, physical activities, Body Mass Index (BMI) and psychological health status variables were examined. Using ordinal multivariate regression, self-rated health was regressed on all predictors, which were entered in blocks hierarchically.
Results: The analyses revealed that adolescent perceptions of health are framed not only by their physical health status, but also by personal, socio-environmental, behavioural and psychological factors. Specifically, health problems, disability, age, female status, lower income, smoking, and higher BMI were associated with lower self-rated health.
Conclusions: This study suggests that adolescent appraisals of their health are shaped by their overall sense of functioning, which includes both physical health and non-physical health dimensions.
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