Does health literacy explain regional health disparities among adolescents in Finland?
Simonsen, N., Wackström, N., Roos, E., Suominen, S., Välimaa, R., Tynjälä, J., & Paakkari, L. (2021). Does health literacy explain regional health disparities among adolescents in Finland?. Health Promotion International, 36(6), 1727-1738. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daaa122
Published inHealth Promotion International
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Health literacy (HL)—as a broad range of health-related competencies—has been proposed to be a promising construct in understanding health disparities better, also among adolescents. Several factors have been found to explain differences in adolescents’ HL levels; however, not much is known about how different regions of a country or majority/minority status is associated with HL, or whether HL is associated with regional health disparities. The aim of this study was to examine and compare HL and health levels among majority- and minority-language-speaking adolescents living in different regions of Finland, and to explore if HL explains regional health disparities, taking into account other important structural stratifying factors. The study uses Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey data, collected among 13- and 15-year-old pupils in Finnish- and Swedish-speaking schools in Finland in 2014 (N = 3853/1123; 85/83%). Findings suggest that regional differences in HL levels and regional health disparities exist in both language groups. Health disparities were present in the Finnish-speaking sample among boys, the proportion rating their health as excellent ranging from 23 to 31% across regions, and in the Swedish-speaking sample among girls, the corresponding numbers ranging from 13 to 20%. In addition to other important structural stratifying factors, comprehensive HL explains these regional health disparities. This study adds to prior studies on the role of HL as a modifiable health resource by showing that regional health disparities among adolescents can partially be attributed to corresponding HL differences. ...
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN Search the Publication Forum0957-4824
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Additional information about fundingThe study was supported by grants from The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Adolescent Health Literacy and Neighbourhood Features : HBSC Findings from Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia Kleszczewska, Dorota; Porwit, Katarzyna; Boberova, Zuzana; Sigmund, Eric; Vasickova, Jana; Paakkari, Leena (MDPI AG, 2021)The role of supportive environments on health, wellbeing, and longevity has been widely recognized. However, there is no strong empirical evidence on the association between health literacy (HL) as a particular health-related ...
A Comparative Study on Adolescents’ Health Literacy in Europe : Findings from the HBSC Study Paakkari, Leena; Torppa, Minna; Mazur, Joanna; Boberova, Zuzana; Sudeck, Gorden; Kalman, Michal; Paakkari, Olli (MDPI, 2020)(1) Background: There is a need for studies on population-level health literacy (HL) to identify the current state of HL within and between countries. We report comparative findings from 10 European countries (Austria, ...
Trends in excellent self-rated health among adolescents : A comparative Nordic study Potrebny, Thomas; Torsheim, Torbjørn; Due, Pernille; Välimaa, Raili; Suominen, Sakari; Eriksson, Charli (Universitetsforlaget, 2019)Background: Excellent self-rated health (SRH) can be seen as an important component of positive health among adolescents. The aim of this paper is to examine time trends of excellent health among adolescents in five Nordic ...
Measuring Health Literacy in Childhood and Adolescence with the Scale Health Literacy in School-Aged Children – German Version : The Psychometric Properties of the German-Language Version of the WHO Health Survey Scale HLSAC Fischer, Saskia M.; Dadaczynski, Kevin; Sudeck, Gorden; Rathmann, Katharina; Paakkari, Olli; Paakkari, Leena; Bilz, Ludwig; the HBSC Study Group Germany (Hogrefe Publishing Group, 2022)Health literacy can help explain health inequalities in childhood and adolescence. However, suitable instruments for assessing health literacy in this age group are rare, especially in the German-speaking countries. One ...
Objective health literacy skills among ninth graders in Finland : outcomes from a national learning assessment Summanen, Anna-Mari; Rautopuro, Juhani; Kannas, Lasse K.; Paakkari, Leena T. (SAGE Publications, 2022)Background: Health literacy (HL) is an important determinant for maintaining and improving health throughout the lifespan. This underlines the need to monitor HL, including among adolescents, and to understand the factors ...