Socioeconomic differences in health and well-being of children and adolescents in Iceland

Scand J Public Health. 1999 Mar;27(1):43-7. doi: 10.1177/14034948990270011501.


Study objective: To assess differences in health, healthcare use and well-being of children according to their socioeconomic situation.

Design: Part of a larger cross-sectional survey on health and well-being of children and their parents in the Nordic countries.

Setting: Iceland.

Participants: A questionnaire was sent to the parents of a nationally representative sample of 3,007 school children aged two to seventeen years.

Main results: The SES indicators used were education and occupation of both parents and the disposable income of the family. Logistic regression models were used for the analysis. Children of lower SES were found to have worse health and well-being than those of higher SES. Children of lower SES appeared to use doctor's services to the same degree as children of higher SES, especially after differences in ill health were taken into account.

Conclusion: The association between SES and health status and well-being in adulthood can already be detected in childhood, even in an egalitarian country with a homogeneous population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Iceland / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Socioeconomic Factors