Objective To investigate whether socio-economic status in adolescence is associated with an incorrect view on health-related topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, food science/eating habits and drug abuse, and to chart the impact that school environment and peer relationships may have on these attitudes and beliefs. Design We conducted a survey on the association of knowledge on health-related issues and socio-economic status. Setting High school students from the province of Frosinone (Central Italy). Methods An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was submitted to the students in their own classes during the period May 1996-January 1997. The items chosen were demographic data regard-ing the students and their parents, students’ judgement about the quality of school teaching and their knowledge on matters such as sexuality, food science/eating habits and drug abuse. Socio-economic status was assessed by considering fathers’ and moth-ers’ work activities or occupations. An index for familial SES was derived combining the activities of the parents. Results In total, 1738 students agreed to participate the study (97.15% of responders), 704 males (40.5%) and 1034 females (59.5%). Mean age (± SD) was 16,748 (± 1.695). Our study suggests that school environment and peer relationships appear to have only a minor influence, if any, on the accuracy of this knowledge. Stu-dents from a low family income/SES were associated with lower levels of knowledge on the health issues investigated by this study (OR = 1.35, p < 0.05 for fathers’ managerial/professional and OR = 0.77, p = 0.0278 for father unemployed). Further-more, the same odds ratios were obtained when only familial in-come was considered (OR between 1.62 and 1.35, p < 0.05, for very high and high family income), suggesting that the impact of the fathers’ SES is as significant as the familial SES index. Conclusions We hypothesise that low SES can have a negative impact upon health outcome. The reasons for this may originate from a trans-fer of incorrect knowledge on health issues which, once rooted in the pre-adolescent phase, does not appear to be easily re-versible by the contact that the school environment and peer re-lationships provides. This may contribute to a lifestyle guided by erroneous cognitive representations on health-related topics.

Health-related knowledge and social economic status: a study of adolescents in Central Italy

DE VITO, Elisabetta;LANGIANO, Elisa;
2002

Abstract

Objective To investigate whether socio-economic status in adolescence is associated with an incorrect view on health-related topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, food science/eating habits and drug abuse, and to chart the impact that school environment and peer relationships may have on these attitudes and beliefs. Design We conducted a survey on the association of knowledge on health-related issues and socio-economic status. Setting High school students from the province of Frosinone (Central Italy). Methods An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was submitted to the students in their own classes during the period May 1996-January 1997. The items chosen were demographic data regard-ing the students and their parents, students’ judgement about the quality of school teaching and their knowledge on matters such as sexuality, food science/eating habits and drug abuse. Socio-economic status was assessed by considering fathers’ and moth-ers’ work activities or occupations. An index for familial SES was derived combining the activities of the parents. Results In total, 1738 students agreed to participate the study (97.15% of responders), 704 males (40.5%) and 1034 females (59.5%). Mean age (± SD) was 16,748 (± 1.695). Our study suggests that school environment and peer relationships appear to have only a minor influence, if any, on the accuracy of this knowledge. Stu-dents from a low family income/SES were associated with lower levels of knowledge on the health issues investigated by this study (OR = 1.35, p < 0.05 for fathers’ managerial/professional and OR = 0.77, p = 0.0278 for father unemployed). Further-more, the same odds ratios were obtained when only familial in-come was considered (OR between 1.62 and 1.35, p < 0.05, for very high and high family income), suggesting that the impact of the fathers’ SES is as significant as the familial SES index. Conclusions We hypothesise that low SES can have a negative impact upon health outcome. The reasons for this may originate from a trans-fer of incorrect knowledge on health issues which, once rooted in the pre-adolescent phase, does not appear to be easily re-versible by the contact that the school environment and peer re-lationships provides. This may contribute to a lifestyle guided by erroneous cognitive representations on health-related topics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/12875
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