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.
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We excluded Greenland from the analysis.
The proportion of missing values was typically low (5% or less). The following countries had between 10% and 20% missing values: Armenia (perceived health, school environment, and family environment); Croatia (bullied); Denmark (family communication); Israel (nutrition, health, protection from violence), Norway (school environment); Portugal (family environment); Slovakia (information access); Spain (health; protection from violence; family environment; information access); Macedonia (nutrition); and England (family environment; information access).
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Logistic regression models produced nearly identical average marginal effects (results available on request).
The cross-country correlation between the health deprivation rate and GDP per capita (PPP) is r = −0.31, (p = 0.06).
When the information deprivation rate is regressed on both GDP per capita (PPP) and the Gini coefficient, the association with the later is no longer significant.
Older adolescents were consistently less likely to be bullied, but in several countries they were at a higher risk of cyberbullying by pictures or messages. Since the rates of cyberbullying tend to be lower, older adolescents appeared to be less likely to be deprived in the protection from violence dimension (estimates available on request).
However, if Luxembourg were excluded, there would still be a statistically significant negative partial correlation between multidimensional poverty and country wealth, even after controlling for income inequality.
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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 (www.hbsc.org). 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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Chzhen, Y., Bruckauf, Z., Toczydlowska, E. et al. Multidimensional Poverty Among Adolescents in 38 Countries: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2013/14 Study. Child Ind Res 11, 729–753 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-017-9489-0