Socioeconomic inequalities in mental well-being among Hungarian adolescents: A cross-sectional study

Szabolcs Varga, Bettina F. Piko, Kevin M. Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: According to several empirical studies, mental well-being is significant in adolescence; adolescent's social network is undergoing radical changes while at the same time depression is increasing. The primary goal of our study is to determine whether socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with mental health status of Hungarian adolescents and the strength and nature of this association. Methods: Our sample was comprised of three high schools of Debrecen (the second largest city of Hungary). Data were collected in January 2013. In all, 471 students filled out the questionnaire from 22 classes (14-18 years old). 'Absolute' (education and occupational status of the parents, assessed by the adolescent) and 'subjective' (self-assessment of family's social class) SES measures and five mental health indicators (shyness, loneliness, need to belong, psychosomatic symptoms, self-esteem) were involved. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationships between family SES and mental health indicators. Results: Our results indicate that association between adolescents' 'subjective' SES and mental well-being is not gradient-like. Manual employment and unemployment status of both parents also proved to be significant determinants of mental health status. Conclusions: According to our results, professionals of school-based mental health programs should consider students whose parents are unemployed or have manual occupational status as a high risk group in terms of mental well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Mental health
  • Mental well-being
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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