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Journal Article

Young adolescents' wellbeing and health-risk behaviours: gender and socio-economic differences


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In this paper we use the 1994-1997 Youth Surveys of the British Household Panel Study to examine the wellbeing of young adolescents. We conceptualize wellbeing as a multi-dimensional construct and we develop and test models of gender and age differences. Using confirmatory factor analysis, we find clear gender differences in self-esteem, self-efficacy, unhappiness and worries. We confirm that wellbeing and some health-risk behaviours (fighting and smoking) are linked. We test models that examine how family structure, father's occupation, tenure, and household income, affect adolescent wellbeing. While socio-economic factors affect health-risk behaviours and also adolecents' reported worries, they have little impact on other aspects of youth wellbeing. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Published in

Journal of Adolescence


24, 183-197


Health and Social Behaviour


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