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      The Family Affluence Scale as an Indicator for Socioeconomic Status: Validation on Regional Income Differences in the Czech Republic

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          Abstract

          The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study (HBSC) uses the Family Affluence Scale (FAS) as a tool to identify the socioeconomic status of children and adolescents. Even though it is now widely applied in research studies, the external criterion validation of FAS has not been verified in terms of objective economic indicators in Central Europe. The aim of this study is to validate FAS in terms of disposable income per capita in 14 Czech administrative regions. Regional differences in the FAS score were analyzed using Pearson correlation and linear regression to measure the dependency of the aggregated mean of the FAS index at the regional level on data from the Czech HSBC survey carried out from April to June 2014 ( n = 10,361). The data analysis has shown an overall positive correlation between the FAS index and regional disposable income (R = 0.77, p < 0.01). The regional disposable income per person could explain 59.7% of the variance in the FAS index ( p < 0.01). By validating individual items, the authors identified three items with a significant correlation ( p < 0.01): number of computers, dishwasher at home, and number of holidays. FAS seems to be a valid instrument to measure adolescents’ socioeconomic status.

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          Indicators of socioeconomic status for adolescents: the WHO Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey.

          Many indicators of socioeconomic status used for adults are inappropriate for use in research on adolescents. In a school-based survey of 4079 Scottish schoolchildren using a self-completion questionnaire, over 20% of 11-15 year olds were unable to provide a substantive response on father's occupation. In contrast, indicators derived to construct a family affluence scale, which included car ownership, telephone ownership and the child having their own unshared bedroom, resulted in a 98% response rate; and 92% of children responded to a question on their weekly spending money. The intercorrelations between the conventional indicator of father's occupation and each family affluence and spending money were examined, and their associations with a range of health indicators and health behaviour measures compared. Father's occupational status and family affluence were moderately correlated and showed broadly similar patterns of association with the selected health measures although there were also some distinct differences. Child's spending money was only weakly correlated with father's occupation and showed rather different patterns of association with health measures. A case is made for the use of multiple indicators of socioeconomic status in adolescent health surveys, and it is argued that that the family affluence scale provides a useful and easily applied additional indicator to father's occupation or an alternative measure of socioeconomic background where occupational data are unavailable.
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            Psychometric Validation of the Revised Family Affluence Scale: a Latent Variable Approach

            The aim was to develop and test a brief revised version of the family affluence scale. A total of 7120 students from Denmark, Greenland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Scotland and Slovakia reported on a list of 16 potential indicators of affluence. Responses were subject to item screening and test of dimensionality. Bifactor analysis revealed a strong general factor of affluence in all countries, but with additional specific factors in all countries. The specific factors mainly reflected overlapping item content. Item screening was conducted to eliminate items with low discrimination and local dependence, reducing the number of items from sixteen to six: Number of computers, number of cars, own bedroom, holidays abroad, dishwasher, and bathroom. The six-item version was estimated with Samejima’s graded response model, and tested for differential item functioning by country. Three of the six items were invariant across countries, thus anchoring the scale to a common metric across countries. The six-item scale correlated with parental reported income groups in six out of eight countries. Findings support a revision to six items in the family affluence scale.
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              Socioeconomic status and health: mediating and moderating factors.

              Health disparities (differences in health by socioeconomic groups) are a pressing issue in our society. This article provides an overview of a multilevel approach that seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying health disparities by considering factors at the individual, family, and neighborhood levels. In addition, we describe an approach to connecting these factors to various levels of biological processes (systemic inflammation, cellular processes, and genomic pathways) that drive disease pathophysiology. In the second half of the article, we address the question of why some low-socioeconomic-status (low-SES) individuals manage to maintain good physical health. We identify naturally occurring psychosocial factors that help buffer these individuals from adverse physiological responses and pathogenic processes leading to chronic disease. What is protective for low-SES individuals is not the same as what is protective for high-SES individuals, and this needs to be taken into account in interventions aimed at reducing health disparities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                08 December 2017
                December 2017
                : 14
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Faculty of Physical Culture, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Palacky University Olomouc, 771 47 Olomouc, Czech Republic; zdenek.hamrik@ 123456upol.cz
                [2 ]Department of Natural and Human Sciences, University of Education Heidelberg, D-69032 Heidelberg, Germany; bucksch@ 123456ph-heidelberg.de
                [3 ]Department of Public Health, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium; B.DeClercq@ 123456ugent.be
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: v.hobza@ 123456upol.cz ; Tel.: +420-728-132-098
                Article
                ijerph-14-01540
                10.3390/ijerph14121540
                5750958
                29292773
                bf8dfeef-938b-49af-a26d-87ac4b561e79
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Article

                Public health
                family affluence,health behaviour in school-aged children (hbsc),validation,disposable income per household,regional economic differences

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