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Social class may affect teens' view of their health

Sick_adolescent Reuters reported on February 14, 2008 on a study which appears in the February, 2008 issue of the journal, Pediatrics, which found that while teenagers and parents often have discrepant views of the teenagers health, lower class kids, especially those who have recieved mental health care, rate their health as better than lower class kids who have not received mental health care, and upper class kids whose focus is more on physical health than mental health. Here is a brief snippet of the Reuters article:

And, in fact, teenagers in the study often rated their health differently than their parents did, the researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.

But the study also found that families' views differed according to income. Among higher-income families, children's and parents' health ratings depended on physical health factors -- such as how often the child had been sick in the past month, or the number of missed school days in the past year.

For low-income families, physical health mattered, but so did mental health. In general, teenagers who had seen a mental health professional in the past year gave better ratings to their overall health than other low-income teens did.

Mental health indicators did not have a clear influence on higher-income teenagers' health ratings, even though they reported about as many days of "sub-par mental health" as low-income kids did.

Link: MedlinePlus: Social class may affect teens' view of their health.

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