Social Inequalities in Mental Health and Health-Related Quality of Life in Children in Spain

Unidad Docente de Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública de la Región de Murcia, Región de Murcia, Spain.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 08/2012; 130(3):e528-35. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3594
Source: PubMed


To assess mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children and adolescents in Spain and to investigate the existence of a social gradient in mental health and HRQoL.
Within the Spanish National Health Survey (2006), the parents' version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was administered to a population aged 4 to 15 years, and the parents' version of the modified KIDSCREEN-10 Index was given to a population aged 8 to 15 years. Sociodemographic data and information on family structure, socioeconomic status, health status, and discrimination were collected. Regression models were developed to analyze associations of socioeconomic status with mental health and HRQoL.
A total of 6414 children and adolescents aged 4 to 15 years participated. Mean Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score was 9.38 (SD, 5.84) and mean KIDSCREEN-10 Index score (n = 4446) was 85.21 (SD, 10.73). Children whose mothers had a primary school education (odds ratio [OR]: 1.37; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29-1.46) or a secondary education (OR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.14-1.29) presented poorer mental health than those whose mothers had a university degree. Children from disadvantaged social classes (IV-V) showed slightly poorer HRQoL scores (OR: 0.98; CI: 0.97-0.99) than the remaining children.
There is a social gradient in the mental health of children and young adolescents in Spain. No social gradient was found for HRQoL, although children from families of disadvantaged social classes had slightly worse HRQoL scores than their counterparts from more advantaged classes.

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