Living conditions and psychosomatic complaints in Swedish schoolchildren.
ABSTRACT The proportion of Swedish schoolchildren that reports psychosomatic complaints has increased during recent decades, parallel to major structural changes in Swedish society.
To investigate the association of psychosomatic complaints in relation to household socio-economic conditions.
Cross-sectional study based on data from child supplements linked to nationally representative household surveys in Sweden during 2000-2003, covering a sample of 5390 children aged 10-18 y. Symptom variables were based on child interviews, while data from parental interviews were used to create socio-economic variables.
Girls more often reported headache and recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) than boys, and these differences became more pronounced with age. Economic stress in the household was associated with headache (OR 1.21, p<0.05), RAP (OR 1.46, p<0.001) as well as difficulties falling asleep (OR 1.35, p<0.01), while there were no consistent associations between symptoms and social class or unemployed parents. Children in single-parent families consistently reported somewhat more symptoms than children in two-parent families (OR 1.26 for at least two of the three symptoms, p<0.05).
Economic stress, but not social class, was a significant but moderate risk factor for all three psychosomatic symptoms. It is possible that a growing proportion of families in economic stress has contributed to the parallel increase in reported psychosomatic complaints among Swedish schoolchildren. Further studies are needed to clarify the relation between lack of money, relational strain/support and psychosomatic complaints.
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ABSTRACT: Financial stress may have adverse health effects. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether having a cash margin and living alone or cohabiting is associated with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality. Representative population-based prospective cohort study of 60-year-old women (n = 2065) and men (n = 1939) in Stockholm County, Sweden. National registers were used to identify cases of incident CVD (n = 375) and all-cause mortality (n = 385). The presence of a cash margin was determined in the questionnaire with the following question: Would you, if an unexpected situation occurred, be able to raise 10 000 SEK within a week? (This was equivalent to US$ 1250 in 1998). Compared with cohabiting women with a cash margin, the risk of all-cause mortality was higher among cohabiting women without a cash margin, with hazard ratios (HRs) of 1.97 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-3.66). Using cohabiting men with cash margin as referent, single men without a cash margin were at an increased risk of both incident CVD and all-cause mortality: HR 2.84 (95% CI 1.61-4.99) and 2.78 (95% CI 1.69-4.56), respectively. Single men with cash margins still had an increased risk of all-cause mortality when compared with cohabiting men with a cash margin: HR 1.67 (95% CI 1.22-2.28). Financial stress may increase the risks of incident CVD and all-cause mortality, especially among men. Furthermore these risks are likely to be greater in men living in single households and in women without cash margins. Living with a partner seems to protect men, but not women, from ill-health associated with financial stress due to the lack of a cash margin.BMC Public Health 01/2014; 14(1):17. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study uses large-scale cross-national data from 24 countries to describe the living conditions of children residing with a single mother as compared with children who live with two original parents. Three central areas are studied: children’s social support, health, and material resources. The data are derived from the international WHO study Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) of 2001/02. The survey includes nationally representative samples of school pupils of 11, 13, and 15years of age in countries in Europe and North America and in Israel. After relevant selections, total n = 95,335. The general finding is that children in single-mother households have lower social support from parents, poorer health, and smaller material resources than children living with two original parents. The general tendency is rather similar across a large number of countries although more differences are found in some countries and fewer in others. There is no clear pattern regarding how the association with family type varies between countries, for example, according to the share of single-mother households, by welfare state regime, or in relation to single parents’ employment rates.Child Indicators Research 3(1):127-147. · 0.96 Impact Factor