A number of studies have demonstrated that socioeconomic inequalities have profound effects on health status. The relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and health status, however, does not appear to be consistent across the life cycle and during adolescence and young adulthood fewer inequalities are detected in mortality and morbidity. However, social inequalities in psychological health and mental disorders are much higher in occurrence. Thus it is important to further investigate possible influences and mediators in adolescent mental health. This study examines the role of perceived parental social support and optimism in understanding the relationship between adolescent depression and SES. Data were collected in a sample of Hungarian high school students (N = 881; aged between 14-20 years) in Szeged, Hungary. Using Structural Equation Modeling we examined associations between objective SES, subjective SES, parental support, optimism (LOT), depression (CDI), and self-perceived health (SPH). Findings suggest: 1.SES variables may generate social inequalities in adolescent health (namely, depression and self-perceived health) through parental social support; and 2. Social inequalities in adolescent health may be explained by differences in parents' resources (both in terms of material, emotional, or security aspects) which provide youth with social support that may strengthen optimism during the socialization process. Results seem to suggest that experts in mental health promotion might want to take into account socioeconomic differences in attitudes and coping skills which may influence psychosocial adjustment and health among youth. While parents from lower social classes may lack the necessary material and psychosocial resources, therapy sessions and special programs could contribute to strengthening certain attitudes (such as optimism) and thus lowering social inequalities in health later in adulthood.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Social inequalities in adolescent depression: social support and optimism as mediators?].|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Psychiatria Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichiátriai Társaság tudományos folyóirata|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
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