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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050677

Associations Between Socio-Economic Status and Child Health: Findings of a Large German Cohort Study

1
LIFE Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, Leipzig University, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 27, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2
Department of Women and Child Health, Hospital for Children and Adolescents and Center for Paediatric Research (CPL), Leipzig University, Liebigstrasse 20a, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
3
Integrated Research and Treatment Center AdiposityDiseases, Leipzig University, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 27, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
4
Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology and Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Leipzig University, Phillip-Rosenthal-Strasse 55, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Children Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [320 KB, uploaded 26 February 2019]

Abstract

The familial social background of a child can significantly impact their behavior and health. We investigated associations between socio-economic status (SES) and health parameters and behaviors in German children and adolescents. Data were collected between 2011 and 2018 in the framework of the LIFE Child study. Participants included 2998 children aged 3–18 years. SES was represented by an index combining information on parental education, occupation, and income. Associations between SES and health outcomes were estimated using linear and logistic regression analyses. In a moderator analysis, all associations were checked for interactions between SES and age or sex. A higher SES composite score was associated with better health (lower body mass index (β = −0.26), fewer behavioral difficulties (β = −0.18), higher quality of life (β = 0.21), fewer critical life events (odds ratio (OR) = 0.93); all p < 0.05) and a healthier lifestyle (healthier nutrition (β = 0.16), less excessive television use (OR = 0.87), less nicotine consumption (OR = 0.93), and more physical activity (OR = 1.18); all p < 0.05). However, SES was not associated with alcohol consumption (OR = 1.02) or sleep problems (β = −0.04). The strengths of the associations between SES and child health did not differ depending on SES indicator (education, occupation, income). The associations between SES and parent-reported behavioral difficulties and physical activity were stronger in older vs. younger children. In contrast, none of the observed associations were moderated by sex. This study highlights the strong association between socio-economic status and child health, even in modern Western societies. View Full-Text
Keywords: socio-economic status; children; health; health behavior socio-economic status; children; health; health behavior
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Poulain, T.; Vogel, M.; Sobek, C.; Hilbert, A.; Körner, A.; Kiess, W. Associations Between Socio-Economic Status and Child Health: Findings of a Large German Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 677.

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