Online Program

Social and economic determinants of youth health perception: Evidence from the Ghana youthsave experiment

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Rainier Masa, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Gina Chowa, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Self-perceptions of health are a subjective measure that aims to tap into youths' own perspective of their overall state of healthiness. Evidence suggests that health perception is associated with actual health behaviors. Better self-perceived health among youth decreases negative health behaviors. We examined the relationship between youth and their family socioeconomic characteristics and health perception. Methods: A total of 3,083 youth and their parents from the Ghana YouthSave baseline data were included in this study. The outcome variable was measured by the probability of expecting better health in the future. Given the dichotomous outcome variable, binary logistic regression was used to examine determinants of youth health perception. Results: Most youth (90%) expect their health to be better in the future than other people they know. Gender of youth, youth's economic activity, parent's education level, household living conditions, and number of household dependents were statistically significant predictors of health perception. Boys were more likely to expect their health to be better in the future than girls. Higher quality of household living conditions increased the probability of expecting better health. Higher number of dependents decreased the likelihood of expecting better health in the future. Discussion: The study finds evidence to support that there are significant associations between youth and family socioeconomic characteristics and youth health perception, particularly their health outlook. Understanding the factors that influence health perception may guide health practitioners in developing targeted interventions. These interventions may be an important component of health promotion and risk reduction strategies for youth.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify correlates of youth health perception in resource-limited settings Discuss implications of addressing predictors of health perception

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, Health Risks

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research on social and economic determinants of health among youth in resource-limited settings. I have been involved in development and evaluation of programs to address structural barriers to health promotion and development in resource-limited settings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4251.0: International public health