Self-perceived health among adolescents: the role of gender and psychosocial factors
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Since adolescents’ psychosocial health problems may have major implications for adult morbidity and mortality, investigating their self-perceived health deserves priority. In the lack of limiting illness, psychosocial health variables, e.g., psychosomatic health complaints or health behaviors, play a decisive role in determining adolescents’ self-perceived health. Using data on adolescents from Szeged, Hungary (n = 1,114), we examined the relationship between adolescents’ self-perceived health and a set of psychosocial health status measurements. Findings show that psychosomatic and depressive symptoms contributed significantly to adolescents’ poor/fair perceptions of health. Findings also support the relationship between health behaviors and adolescents’ self-perceived health. Among boys, drug use and the lack of physical activity are significant predictors. Among girls, smoking may act in a similar way. Diet control is significant in both cases. Besides academic achievement, SES self-assessment and non-intact family status are strong contributes to health perception. Overall, findings show that psychosocial health variables are important influences on adolescents’ self-perceived health.
KeywordsSelf-perceived health Psychosocial health Adolescence Gender
This research was supported by the National Research Fund (grant number: OTKA T 042490) and the Hungarian Ministry of Health Care (grant number: ETT T08 005/2003). The author also thanks the public health workers working at the County Public Health Services who participated in the data collection.
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