Socio-economic status and oral health-related behaviours in Korean adolescents.Soc Sci Med. 2010 Jun; 70(11):1780-8.SS
The principle objective of this study was to assess the association between socio-economic status (SES) and oral health-related behaviours in Korean adolescents aged 13-18, using the Family Affluence Scale (FAS). The secondary objective was to assess the influences of other factors (pocket money, school type, family structure and psychological factors) on this association. Cross-sectional data were from the national 2007 Korean Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey. Oral health-related behaviours included health-enhancing behaviours (frequency of toothbrushing and dental visits) and health-compromising behaviours (smoking and frequency of intake of soft drinks and confections). Logistic regression models were used to analyse the data. To assess the influence of other factors, additional models adjusting for sex, school grade and each of the other factors were compared to the initial model, which adjusted for sex and school grade only. We found that family affluence had a linear association with health-enhancing behaviours and a roughly U-shaped association with health-compromising behaviours. After adjusting for a number of variables, the linear association with health-enhancing behaviours persisted. The U-shaped association with health-compromising behaviours remained but was partly attenuated and flattened. In addition, we found a marked influence of school type and family structure and pocket money on the association between FAS and oral health-compromising behaviours. The findings indicate that the health-enhancing behaviours of adolescents were strongly associated with family affluence, but the health-compromising behaviours were more strongly linked to factors other than family affluence. However, it is difficult to determine which factors contribute most in relation to family affluence because of other confounding factors, such as the education system, peer group, youth culture, part-time work and advertising. Therefore, further studies are needed to assess factors that interact with family SES to better understand the association between the SES and the oral health-compromising behaviours of adolescents.