International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 95–105

Socioeconomic inequalities in mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children and adolescents from 11 European countries

  • Luis Rajmil
  • Michael Herdman
  • Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer
  • Michael Erhart
  • Jordi Alonso
  • The European KIDSCREEN group
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-013-0479-9

Cite this article as:
Rajmil, L., Herdman, M., Ravens-Sieberer, U. et al. Int J Public Health (2014) 59: 95. doi:10.1007/s00038-013-0479-9

Abstract

Objectives

To assess the presence and magnitude of social inequalities in mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the population aged 8–18 years in 11 European countries.

Methods

Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in representative samples of children/adolescents (8–18 years) from the participating countries of the KIDSCREEN project. Mental health was assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and HRQOL by means of the KIDSCREEN-10. Socioeconomic status (SES) was assessed using the Family Affluence Scale and parental level of education. The association between health outcomes and SES was analyzed with the regression-based relative index of inequalities (RII) and population attributable risk.

Results

A total of 16,210 parent–child pairs were included. The SDQ showed inequalities in mental health according to family level of education in all countries (RII = 1.45; 1.37–1.53). The RII for HRQOL was 2.15 (1.79–2.59) in the whole sample, with less consistent results by age and country.

Conclusions

Socioeconomic inequalities in mental health were consistently found across Europe. Future research should clarify the causes of these inequalities and define initiatives which prevent them continuing into adulthood.

Keywords

Adolescents Children Inequalities Health-related quality of life Mental health 

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Rajmil
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Michael Herdman
    • 4
  • Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer
    • 5
  • Michael Erhart
    • 6
  • Jordi Alonso
    • 2
    • 3
  • The European KIDSCREEN group
  1. 1.Catalan Agency for Health Information, Assessment and Quality (CAHIAQ)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)MadridSpain
  3. 3.Institut de Recerca Hospital del Mar (IMIM)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Insight Consulting and ResearchMataróSpain
  5. 5.Department of Psychosomatics in Children and AdolescentsUniversity Medical CenterHamburgGermany
  6. 6.Zentralinstitut für die kassenärztliche Versorgung in DeutschlandBerlinGermany

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