Too much or too little? A short-term longitudinal study of youth's own economic resources and risk behaviour.

Publication year: 2018

Plenty, Stephanie

Journal of Adolescence, Vol 66, pp. 21-30,


This study examined socioeconomic differences in risk behaviours according to youth-oriented measures of economic resources. Using a representative sample of Swedish adolescents (n = 3,939, 51% females), the associations that youth's own economy shared with smoking, drinking and conduct problems were examined. Data was based on population register and self-report information when participants were in grades 8 (T1 aged 14–15) and 9 (T2 aged 15–16). Missing activities due to financial constraints and having a cash margin were each positively associated with concurrent risk behaviours. However, longitudinal analyses showed that missing activities only increased the likelihood of conduct problems and having a cash margin only increased the likelihood of drinking one-year later. The results demonstrate that youth-oriented conceptualisations of economic resources identify gradients in drinking, smoking and conduct problems that are distinct from family socioeconomic status. However, adolescents' absolute and relative economic resources are associated with risk behaviours in opposite directions.

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