Socioeconomic inequities patterns of multi-morbidity in early adolescence.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Multi-morbidity such as cumulating mental health, behavioral, and school difficulties (consumptions of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and hard drugs, obesity, depressive symptoms, suicide attempts, involvement in violence, and low school performance) is common in early adolescence and can be favored by a number of socioeconomic factors (gender, age, nationality, family structure, parents' education, father' occupation, and income). This study assessed the concurrent roles of various socioeconomic factors in multi-morbidity defined as cumulated number of difficulties (CD) which has been partially documented. METHODS: Adolescents from middle schools in north-eastern France (N = 1,559) completed a questionnaire measuring socioeconomic characteristics and mental health, behavioral, and school difficulties. Data were analyzed using logistic regression models. RESULTS: Alcohol use affected 35.2% of subjects, tobacco use 11.2%, cannabis use 5.6%, hard drugs use 2.8%, obesity 10.6%, depressive symptoms 13.3%, suicide attempts 9.9%, involvement in violence 10.3%, and low school performance 8.2%. Insufficient income and non-intact families impacted most mental health, behavioral, and school difficulties with adjusted odds ratios (ORa) between 1.51 and 3.72. Being immigrant impacted illicit drugs use and low school performance (ORa 2.31-4.14); low parents' education depressive symptoms (1.42) and school performance (3.32); and manual-worker/inactive offspring low school performance (2.56-3.05). Multi-morbidity was very common: CD0 44.1%, CD1 30.8%, CD2-3 18.4%, and CD >= 4 6.7%. Insufficient income, divorced/separated parents, reconstructed families, and single parents played impressive roles with strong ORa gradients (reaching 4.86) from CD1 to CD >= 4. Being European immigrant, low parents' education, and low fathers' occupations had significant gender-age-adjusted odds ratios for CD2-3 and CD >= 4, but these became non-significant when adjusted for all socioeconomic factors. Older adolescents had higher risks for multi-morbidity which did not change when adjusting for all socioeconomic factors. CONCLUSIONS: Multi-morbidity including a wide range of mental health, behavioral, and school difficulties was common in early adolescence. Insufficient income and non-intact families played impressive roles. Being immigrant, low parents' education, and low fathers' occupations also played strong roles but these were explained by insufficient income and non-intact families. Prevention against multi-morbidity should be designed to help adolescents to solve their difficulties, especially among adolescents with socioeconomic difficulties.
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International Journal for Equity in Health, BioMed Central, 2013, 12 (1), pp.65. 〈10.1186/1475-9276-12-65〉
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Kénora Chau, Michèle Baumann, Nearkasen Chau. Socioeconomic inequities patterns of multi-morbidity in early adolescence.. International Journal for Equity in Health, BioMed Central, 2013, 12 (1), pp.65. 〈10.1186/1475-9276-12-65〉. 〈inserm-00868743〉

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