Lee, Albert; Chua, Hoi-wai; Chan, Mariana; Leung, Patrick W. L.; Wong, Jasmine W. S.; Chuh, Antonio A. T.
Background The socioeconomic inequalities in child health continue to widen despite improved economy. Objective To investigate the correlation between socio-economic factors and health risk behaviors and psychosocial well-being of children in Hong Kong. Hypothesis The null hypothesis is that for this particular developed region, there exists little or no correlation between social-economic factors and health risk behaviors and psychosocial well-being of children. Design Cross sectional territory wide survey. Participants Caregivers of 7,000 children in kindergartens in Hong Kong. Measuring tools Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance questionnaire, health-related knowledge and hygienic practice questionnaire, and Children Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results Children were less likely to have somatic complaints and anxiety/depression as reflected by CBCL scores coming from families of higher income, not being recipients of social assistance, with fathers in employment, and with higher parental education. Children with only mother or father as caretakers had lower odds ratios (ORs) 0.71 (95% CI 0.58-0.89) and 0.53 (95% CI 0.33-0.84) respectively to have the habit of eating breakfast, whilst parental education at post-secondary level and higher family income had higher ORs 1.91 (95% CI 1.31-2.78), and 1.63 (95% CI 1.11-2.39). Fathers unemployed, relatives as main caretakers and living in districts with low median household inome incurred higher ORs, as 1.46 (95% CI 1.10-1.94),1.52 (95% CI 1.27-1.83) and 1.17 (95% CI 1.02-1.34) respectively, of watching television over two hours daily, whilst children with parental education at secondary level or above incurred lower OR 0.33 (95% CI 0.24-0.45). Children with parental education at post-secondary level and higher family income had lower ORs of 0.32 (95% CI 0.48-0.97) and 0.52 (95% CI 0.34-0.79) respectively, with regard to exposing to passive smoking, and reversed for those living in districts with lower median household income