The moderating role of subjective socioeconomic status on the relationship between objective SES and mental health problems in Dutch adolescents in times of economic crisis (2009-2013).
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Although health in children has improved significantly over the last decades, health in adolescence has only slightly improved. Adolescence is an important period in developing mental health problems. A predictor for adolescent mental health problems that is often studied is parental income (objective socioeconomic status), but objective socioeconomic status (SES) appears to be weakly and inconsistently related to mental health problems. Less is known about subjective perceptions of SES and their influence on mental health problems. We examined mental health differences in 14790 Dutch adolescents using measures of objective SES and subjective socioeconomic status (SSS) as measured in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children-studies (HBSC-studies) of 2009 and 2013 to examine the influence of the economic crisis on income and subsequently on mental health problems. We carried out a hierarchical regression analysis. Results showed that SSS was a significant moderator in the relation between objective SES and mental health problems. No significant differences were found when adding a 3-way interaction between objective SES, SSS and HBSC-year. In this study, the difference in mental health problems was not explained by the Great Recession. Economic crisis effects are possibly to be found when comparing other HBSC data collections.