A multivariate analysis of the association between social class of origin and current social class with self-rated general health and psychological health among 16-year-old Australians

Aust N Z J Med. 2000 Dec;30(6):653-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2000.tb04359.x.


Background: A recent review of international literature concludes that there is a relative absence of social class differentials in health in early youth. There is an absence of Australian studies on the effect of social class on the health of this age group.

Aims: To examine the association between social class and health among 16-year-old Australians.

Methods: The data on 1048 16-year-olds came from the fifth wave (1993) of the Australian Youth Survey conducted by the former Department of Employment, Education and Training. Outcome measures were self-rated general health and psychological health (GHQ-12). Binary logistic regression was used to analyse data.

Results: Neither social class of origin nor current social class was associated with self-rated general health or psychological health.

Conclusion: The argument that social class inequalities in health exist in childhood, disappear during early youth, and reappear later appears to hold ground within the Australian context.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Social Class*