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08.01.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2019

International Journal of Public Health 2/2019

Decreasing income inequality and adolescent emotional distress: a population-based case study of Icelandic adolescents 2006–2016

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 2/2019
Autoren:
Arndis Vilhjalmsdottir, Bart De Clercq, Ragna B. Gardarsdottir, Jon Gunnar Bernburg, Inga Dora Sigfusdottir
Wichtige Hinweise
Arndis Vilhjalmsdottir and Bart De Clercq have contributed equally to this work.
This article is part of the special issue “Adolescent transitions”.

Publisher's Note

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Abstract

Objectives

In this study, we aim to test whether changes in community income inequality influence adolescent emotional distress. We take advantage of the unique combination of data and history available in Iceland. This affluent welfare society has experienced extreme shifts in income inequality, allowing us to test whether changes in community income inequality are related to changes in adolescent emotional distress.

Methods

Combining adolescent survey data (n = 24,107) with tax registry data on 76 neighborhood communities, we used a multilevel approach to model the data as longitudinal in order to test whether changes in community income inequality are related to changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression among adolescents.

Results

The results showed that, after adjusting for relevant individual and community covariates, decreases in community income inequality were associated with decreases in symptoms of anxiety among adolescents (b = − 0.367, p ≤ 0.001), but not with decreases in symptoms of depression.

Conclusions

While the results provide a partial support for the income inequality thesis, we call for replications from other cultures and studies exploring the mediating role of social psychological processes.

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Literatur
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO REVIEWERS

Acknowledgement to Reviewers 2018