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Differences in subjective health, mental health, and health behavior among 11- to 17-year-olds at secondary schools in Germany : Results of the German health interview and examination survey for children and adolescents: first follow-up (KiGGS Wave 1)



Differences in subjective health, mental health, and health behavior among 11- to 17-year-olds at secondary schools in Germany : Results of the German health interview and examination survey for children and adolescents: first follow-up (KiGGS Wave 1)



Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz 61(4): 374-384



Social inequalities in health can already be found among children and adolescents to the disadvantage of socially deprived population groups. This paper aims to detect, whether differences in subjective health, mental health and health behavior among young people are due to the secondary school type attended and whether these associations exist independently of the family's socioeconomic position (SEP). The data basis was the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS Wave 1, 2009-2012). Data of 11- to 17-year-old girls and boys (n = 4665) who attend different types of secondary schools in Germany were analyzed. The dependent variables were self-rated health, findings of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for the detection of psychological abnormalities, as well as self-reported information regarding leisure sport, tobacco, and alcohol consumption. Prevalence and odds ratios (ORs) based on logistic regressions are shown. For the majority of the examined indicators, it can be shown that adolescents in lower secondary schools are more likely to report worse self-rated health and mental problems and engage in unhealthy behavior than peers in grammar schools ("Gymnasium"). The differences decrease after controlling for family's SEP but mostly remain statistically significant. Adolescents who don't attend grammar schools are most strongly disadvantaged in terms of inattention/hyperactivity for both gender (OR: 2.29 [1.70-3.08]), smoking among girls (2.91 [1.85-4.57]) and physical inactivity (no leisure sport) among boys (OR: 2.71 [1.85-3.95]). Unequal health opportunities should be viewed in relation to people's living conditions. For adolescents, school constitutes an important setting for learning, experience, and health. The results indicate divergent needs of school-based health promotion and prevention regarding differences among gender and type of school.

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Accession: 058406422

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PMID: 29470591

DOI: 10.1007/s00103-018-2704-4


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