Relationship between Poverty and Health among Adolescents

By Abernathy, Thomas J.; Webster, Greg et al. | Adolescence, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Relationship between Poverty and Health among Adolescents


Abernathy, Thomas J., Webster, Greg, Vermeulen, Marian, Adolescence


Despite a commitment by the Canadian government to eliminate child poverty, the rate of poverty among children and adolescents remains at nearly 20% (Centre for International Statistics, 1994, 1995). The individual and societal implications of this situation are of growing concern. The Canadian Council on Social Development, for instance, has noted that poverty often is accompanied by a higher rate of infant mortality, childhood health problems, psychosocial disorders, and school dropout rates.

Although the association between low socioeconomic status and health is well established (Frank & Mustard, 1994), the mechanisms by which income influences health are less clear. Evans and Stoddart (1994) suggest that health and disease are determined by interactions between influences in the social environment, physical environment, access to health care, and individual behavioral and biological responses. Their model expresses the interrelationship between the determinants of health and measures of health, as well as among the determinants themselves. This study uses the Evans-Stoddart model as a framework to explore data from the 1994 National Population Health Survey regarding the pathways by which income adequacy might influence the health and well-being of young Canadians.

METHOD

The 1994 National Population Health Survey (NPHS) collected information from households across Canada, excluding populations residing on Indian reserves, Canadian military bases, and in remote regions of Quebec and Ontario (Statistics Canada, 1995). Limited information was gathered on all household members, followed by a more detailed interview with a randomly selected household member, aged 12 years or above, which examined health status, health service utilization, behavioral risk factors, psychosocial factors, demographics, and socio-economic status.

A stratified two-stage sampling design, including mechanisms to ensure equal representation of members of larger households, was employed. The overall household response rate was 88.7%; the selected person response rate was 92.5%. A total of 637 youths aged 12 to 14 and 1,210 aged 15 to 19 across Canada were directly interviewed. Partial nonresponse occurred for several individual variables. Information on household income was unavailable for 88 respondents, reducing the sample size for this analysis to 1,759.

Wherever possible, several variables were chosen to represent the determinant category within the model. In some cases, however, the nature of the data collected was such that certain categories contain few measures. As a consequence, the indicators used cannot be considered exhaustive, but rather represent certain components of the determinants.

Variable Definition

Income adequacy. Household income was recoded and grouped into one of five fixed income categories adjusted for family size. This measure is based on all sources of income, including government transfers. It does not define or classify poverty per se, but acts as a crude relative measure of income adequacy based on predetermined cutoff points.

Social and physical environment. Social environment was represented by living arrangement (children living with a single parent compared with all other family types), urban or rural dwelling, and social support index (a five-point scale ranging from low to high support). The presence of a smoker in the house was the only available indicator of physical environment.

Individual response. Behavioral responses included the subject's smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity. Self-esteem, mastery, and distress scales were used to measure psychological responses.

Health and function. Health and function were conceptualized as the individual's perception of his or her own as well as its impact on day-to-day functioning. These concepts were measured via self-assessed health (ranging across five categories from poor to excellent), number of disability days in the last two weeks, and whether the individual had experienced an activity-limiting injury in the last 12 months. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Relationship between Poverty and Health among Adolescents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.