Objectives: Socio-economic differences in the frequency of smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, physical exercise, and attitudes toward smoking were explored in a sample of Slovak adolescents (1,370 boys, 1,246 girls, mean age 15 years).
Methods: Identification of socio-economic status was based on three indicators: the highest educational level of parents, the highest occupational class of parents, and the type of school the adolescents attended.
Results: Health risk behaviour was strongly related to socio-economic status based on all three socio-economic indicators, although there were some exceptions mostly related to education as indicator of socio-economic status and to alcohol consumption experience and drug use experience. The pattern of socio-economic differences was unfavourable for lower socio-economic groups of adolescents, except for differences in frequency of alcohol consumption among females when highest education of parents was used as an indicator of socio-economic status.
Conclusions: There are socio-economic differences in health risk behaviour. Lower socio-economic groups of adolescents behave risky more frequently than higher socio-economic groups of adolescents.