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The validity of socioeconomic status measures among adolescents based on self-reported information about parents occupations, FAS and perceived SES; implication for health related quality of life studies
Svedberg, Petra, Nygren, Jens, Staland Nyman, Carin, Nyholm, Maria
Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
Research has shown inconsistencies in results and difficulties in conceptualization of assessment of socioeconomic status (SES) among adolescents. The aim of this study was thus to test the validity of self-reported information on SES in two age-groups (11–13 and 14–16 years old) in an adolescent population and to evaluate its relationship to self-reported health related quality of life (HRQOL). Different measures of SES commonly used in research in relation to HRQOL were tested in this study; parent’s occupations status, family material affluence status (FAS) and perceived SES.
A cross-sectional study, with a sample of 948 respondents (n = 467, 11–13 years old and n = 481, 14–16 years old) completed questionnaires about SES and HRQOL. The adolescents’ completion rates were used, with chi2-test, to investigate differences between gender and age-group. Correlation was used for convergent validity and ANOVA for concurrent validity.
We found a low completion rate for both fathers’ (41.7 %) and mothers' (37.5 %) occupation status, and a difference in completion rate between gender and age-groups. FAS had the highest completion rate (100 %) compared to parent's occupations status and perceived SES. The convergent validity between the SES-indicators was weak (Spearman correlation coefficient below 0.3), suggesting that the indicators measured different dimensions of SES. Both FAS and perceived SES showed a gradient in mean HRQOL between low and high SES in relation to HRQOL, this was significant only for perceived SES (p < 0.01, both age-groups).
This study indicates the need for considering different approaches to measures of SES among adolescences and when evaluating SES in relation to HRQOL. Further research is needed to investigate sustainable ways to measure SES, delineating the relevance of tangible measures of education, occupation and income in relation to the perceived socioeconomic status in comparison with others in immediate social networks and in society at large.
Nyckelord: Adolescents; Completion rate; Concurrent validity; Convergent validity health related Quality of Life (HRQOL); Measurement; Socioeconomic status