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October 2021

Health-related lifestyle in adolescence--origin of social class differences in health?

Author(s): Rimpela, A. H., Rimpela, M. K.

Journal/Book: Health Educ Res. 1999; 14: 339-55.

Abstract: Survey data collected by mail, representing Finnish 16 year olds (N = 2977; response rate 83%), were used to identify which particular aspects of lifestyle are typical of adolescents who select various educational tracks and, thus, have different probabilities of ending up in low or high social positions. The dependent variable, educational track, was formed by classifying the respondents into five successive categories predicting their social position in adulthood. Lifestyle is measured by health behaviours, leisure-time activities and social relations. The probability of belonging to educational tracks with good social prospects in adulthood was high among adolescents who placed much emphasis on health-enhancing behaviours (not smoking, physical exercise, low milk-fat diet, dental hygiene, use of seatbelts, etc.), who did not spend much time watching TV or listening to music and who attended church or other religious meetings weekly. Health-related lifestyle, at the age of 16, is oriented towards the social group the individual is likely to belong to as an adult. The study provides evidence for a strong association between health-related lifestyle and educational track in adolescence.

Keyword(s): Adolescence. Adolescent Behavior. Female. Finland. Health Behavior. Human. Life Style. Male. Social Class. Socioeconomic Factors. Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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