Adolescent socioeconomic and school-based social status, smoking and drinking

Sweeting, H. and Hunt, K. (2015) Adolescent socioeconomic and school-based social status, smoking and drinking. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57(1), pp. 37-45. (doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.03.020) (PMID:26095407) (PMCID:PMC4510202)

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Purpose: Relationships between subjective social status (SSS) and health-risk behaviors have received less attention than those between SSS and health. Inconsistent associations between school-based SSS and smoking or drinking might be because it is a single measure reflecting several status dimensions. We investigated how adolescent smoking and drinking are associated with “objective” socioeconomic status (SES), subjective SES, and three dimensions of school-based SSS. Methods: Scottish 13–15 years-olds (N = 2,503) completed questionnaires in school-based surveys, providing information on: “objective” SES (residential deprivation, family affluence); subjective SES (MacArthur Scale youth version); and three school-based SSS dimensions (“SSS-peer”, “SSS-scholastic” and “SSS-sports”). We examined associations between each status measure and smoking (ever and weekly) and drinking (ever and usually five or more drinks) and investigated variations according to gender and age. Results: Smoking and heavier drinking were positively associated with residential deprivation; associations with family affluence and subjective SES were weak or nonexistent. Both substances were related to each school-based SSS measure, and these associations were equally strong or stronger than those with deprivation. Although SSS-peer was positively associated with both smoking and (especially heavier) drinking, SSS-scholastic and SSS-sports were negatively associated with both substances. There were no gender differences in the associations and few according to age. Conclusions: Subjective school-based status has stronger associations with adolescent smoking and drinking than “objective” or subjective SES. However, different dimensions of school-based status relate to adolescent smoking and drinking in opposing directions, meaning one measure based on several dimensions might show inconsistent relationships with adolescent substance use.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn and Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: Sweeting, H., and Hunt, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Adolescent Health
ISSN (Online):1879-1972
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
First Published:First published in Journal of Adolescent Health 57(1):37-45
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656581Gender and HealthKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/3IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU