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Estimating income-related and area-based inequalities in mental health among nationally representative adolescents in Australia: The concentration index approach

Md Irteja Islam, Gail M Ormsby, Enamul Kabir and Rasheda Khanam

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 9, 1-14

Abstract: Despite the awareness of the importance of mental health problems among adolescents in developed countries like Australia, inequality has not been widely researched. This study, is therefore, aimed to measure and compare household income-related and area-based socioeconomic inequalities in mental health problems (bullying victimization, mental disorders–single and multiple, self-harm and suicidality–ideation, plan and attempt) among Australian adolescents aged 12–17 years. Young Minds Matter (YMM)—the 2nd national cross-sectional mental health and well-being survey involving Australian children and adolescents conducted in 2013–14, was used in this study to select data for adolescents aged 12–17 years (n = 2521). Outcome variables included: bullying, mental disorders, self-harm, and suicidal ideation, plan and attempt. The Erreygers’s corrected concentration index (CI) approach was used to measure the socioeconomic inequalities in mental health problems using two separate rank variables–equivalised household income quintiles and area-based Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) quintiles. The prevalence of mental health problems in the previous 12-months among these study participants were: bullying victimization (31.1%, 95% CI: 29%-33%), mental disorder (22.9%, 95% CI: 21%-24%), self-harm (9.1%, 95% CI: 8%-10%), suicidal ideation (8.5%, 95% CI: 7%-10%), suicidal plan (5.9%, 95% CI: 5%-7%) and suicidal attempt (2.8%, 95% CI: 2%-3%). The concentration indices (CIs) were statistically significant for bullying victimization (CI = -0.049, p = 0.020), multiple mental disorders (CI = -0.088, p =

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257573

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