Poverty and the prediction of health status in adolescents from low-income families in Taiwan

Ya Lun Liang, Meng Che Tsai, Yi Ching Lin, Carol Strong, Chung Ying Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A comparison of the performance between monetary and an asset-based socioeconomic position (SEP) index in predicting adolescents' health outcomes was conducted only in low-income countries. Our study aims to compare these two indices among adolescents from low-income families in a high-income country. Methods: Data of adolescents aged 12-18 years was used from the Taiwan Database of Children and Youth in Poverty (n = 2529). The asset-based index was based on a set of weighted self-reported household conditions using principal components analysis. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to examine the association between these two indices and the mental and physical health outcomes among adolescents. Results: Health outcomes were significantly associated with the asset-based SEP index but not with the monetary index. An increased trend was shown in mental illness symptoms, infections, injuries, allergies and dental problems when the regression was performed in the asset-based SEP index (P < 0.05) but not in the monetary SEP index. Conclusions: An asset-based SEP index serves as a better index associated with a social gradient in health inequality. To prioritize giving care to people in need, healthcare policymakers should consider including an assessment of household assets and resources, supplementary to the conventional monetary index.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • children
  • poverty
  • social determinants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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