Objective and Subjective Socioeconomic Position and Current Smoking Among Korean Adolescents

  • Ko, Min Jung (Division for Healthcare Technology Assessment Research, National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency) ;
  • Lee, Eun Young (Institute for Health and Society, Hanyang University) ;
  • Kim, Kirang (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dankook University)
  • Published : 2014.11.06


Background: Despite social gradients in adult smoking, the effects of socioeconomic position (SEP) on adolescent smoking is not well understood. This study examined effects of subjective SEP as well as the objective SEP on smoking among Korean adolescents. Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from the 2012 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey, a nationally representative sample of middle and high school students (38,221 boys; 35,965 girls). SEP was assessed by the Family Affluence Scale (FAS) and the self-rated household economic status. Relationships between SEP and smoking were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression. Results: The low perceived SEP for either the high or low FAS grade was related to an elevated likelihood of smoking in both genders. A significantly higher risk of smoking was found in boys of low perceived SEP in middle school (odds ratio [OR] 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-1.77 for high FAS, OR 1.55; 95% CI 1.21-1.98 for low FAS), and of low perceived SEP and high FAS in high school (OR 1.13; 95% CI 1.02-1.26). Among girls, an elevated risk of smoking was observed in middle school group with low perceived SEP and low FAS (OR 2.01; 95% CI 1.44-2.79) and in the high school group of low perceived SEP, regardless of FAS level (OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.14-1.57 for high FAS, OR 1.31; 95% CI 1.04-1.65 for low FAS). Conclusions: The relationship of subjectively perceived SEP with smoking is as important as objective SEP and more significant in Korean high school adolescents.


Supported by : Dankook University


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