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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 Sep;26(9):1105-1117. doi: 10.1007/s00787-017-0998-7. Epub 2017 May 12.

Associations between social vulnerabilities and psychosocial problems in European children. Results from the IDEFICS study.

Author information

1
GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Edificio del SAI, C/Pedro Cerbuna s/n, 50009, Saragossa, Spain. iguacel@unizar.es.
2
Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2), Saragossa, Spain. iguacel@unizar.es.
3
Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Aragón (IIS Aragón), Saragossa, Spain. iguacel@unizar.es.
4
Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
5
GENUD (Growth, Exercise, NUtrition and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Edificio del SAI, C/Pedro Cerbuna s/n, 50009, Saragossa, Spain.
6
Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain.
7
Institute for Public Health and Nursing Sciences (IPP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
8
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, BIPS, Bremen, Germany.
9
Department of Paediatrics, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.
10
Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark.
11
Section for Epidemiology and Social Medicine (EPSO), Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
12
Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Avellino, Italy.
13
Research and Education Institute of Child Health, Strovolos, Cyprus.
14
Department of Chronic Diseases, National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia.
15
Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2), Saragossa, Spain.
16
Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Aragón (IIS Aragón), Saragossa, Spain.
17
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Saragossa, Spain.

Abstract

The effect of socioeconomic inequalities on children's mental health remains unclear. This study aims to explore the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between social vulnerabilities and psychosocial problems, and the association between accumulation of vulnerabilities and psychosocial problems. 5987 children aged 2-9 years from eight European countries were assessed at baseline and 2-year follow-up. Two different instruments were employed to assess children's psychosocial problems: the KINDL (Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents) was used to evaluate children's well-being and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to evaluate children's internalising problems. Vulnerable groups were defined as follows: children whose parents had minimal social networks, children from non-traditional families, children of migrant origin or children with unemployed parents. Logistic mixed-effects models were used to assess the associations between social vulnerabilities and psychosocial problems. After adjusting for classical socioeconomic and lifestyle indicators, children whose parents had minimal social networks were at greater risk of presenting internalising problems at baseline and follow-up (OR 1.53, 99% CI 1.11-2.11). The highest risk for psychosocial problems was found in children whose status changed from traditional families at T0 to non-traditional families at T1 (OR 1.60, 99% CI 1.07-2.39) and whose parents had minimal social networks at both time points (OR 1.97, 99% CI 1.26-3.08). Children with one or more vulnerabilities accumulated were at a higher risk of developing psychosocial problems at baseline and follow-up. Therefore, policy makers should implement measures to strengthen the social support for parents with a minimal social network.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Inequalities; Internalising problems; Psychosocial problems; Vulnerable groups; Well-being

PMID:
28500384
DOI:
10.1007/s00787-017-0998-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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