Self-perceived health among early adolescents: role of psychosocial factors

Pediatr Int. 2007 Oct;49(5):577-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2007.02430.x.


Background: The authors examined self-perceived health and psychosocial health in 10-15 year old children and the relationship between children's self-perceived health and a set of psychosocial health status measurements.

Methods: Data were collected from middle school students (n = 548; age range, 10-15 years of age; mean, 12.2 years; SD, 1.2 years) using randomly selected classes from four schools in different school districts in Szeged, Hungary. The self-administered questionnaires contained items on sociodemographics; school achievement; height and weight (body mass index); self-perceived health and fitness; health behaviors; and anger and psychosomatic health. The self-perceived health variable was dichotomized and expressed with poor/fair or good/excellent perceptions of one's own health.

Results: Most of the children evaluated their own health as excellent or good. Logistic regression analyses revealed that poor academic achievement, socioeconomic status self-assessment, smoking, alcohol use, sports activity, self-perceived fitness, and high levels of anger and psychosomatic symptoms were associated with an increased likelihood of reported poor/fair perceptions of health.

Conclusions: Findings reflect that psychosocial factors are important influences of self-perceived health in an early adolescent population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology*
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires