Child Indicators Research

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 729–753 | Cite as

Multidimensional Poverty Among Adolescents in 38 Countries: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2013/14 Study

  • Yekaterina Chzhen
  • Zlata Bruckauf
  • Emilia Toczydlowska
  • Frank J. Elgar
  • Concepcion Moreno-Maldonado
  • Gonneke W.J.M. Stevens
  • Dagmar Sigmundová
  • Geneviève Gariépy


This study applied UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) framework to adolescents (aged 11, 13 and 15) in 37 European countries and Canada using data from the 2013/14 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey. It is one of the first applications of MODA based entirely on data collected from adolescents themselves rather than from household reference persons on their behalf. Unlike most other multidimensional child poverty studies, the present analysis focuses on non-material, relational aspects of child poverty. Substantial cross-country variation was found in the prevalence of adolescent deprivations in nutrition, perceived health, school environment, protection from peer violence, family environment and information access. These single dimensions of poverty did not closely relate to national wealth and income inequality. However, when we looked at deprivation in three or more dimensions (i.e., multidimensional poverty), we found association with income inequality. In most countries, girls were at a higher risk of multidimensional poverty than boys. In addition, adolescents who lived with both parents in the household or reported higher family wealth were consistently less poor than other adolescents, in both single and multiple dimensions. The results of this study show the interconnectedness of social (family, school support) and psychological (health and violence) dimensions of poverty for adolescents in higher income countries. Children poor in the domains of family and school environment are also likely to be poor in terms of perceived health and protection from peer violence.


Multidimensional poverty Adolescent well-being Health behaviour in school-aged children study Sustainable development goals 



The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study is a World Health Organization collaborative study and is supported by each member country of the HBSC network ( The HBSC study is coordinated internationally by Dr. Joanna Inchley, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, with international data coordination performed by Dr. Oddrun Samdal, University of Bergen, Norway.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yekaterina Chzhen
    • 1
  • Zlata Bruckauf
    • 1
  • Emilia Toczydlowska
    • 1
  • Frank J. Elgar
    • 2
  • Concepcion Moreno-Maldonado
    • 3
  • Gonneke W.J.M. Stevens
    • 4
  • Dagmar Sigmundová
    • 5
  • Geneviève Gariépy
    • 6
  1. 1.UNICEF Office of Research-InnocentiFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Health and Social Policy and Douglas InstituteMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Developmental and Educational PsychologyUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain
  4. 4.Utrecht Centre for Child and Adolescent StudiesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Faculty of Physical CulturePalacký University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  6. 6.Institute for Health and Social PolicyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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