Socioeconomic factors of children health in Russia

Kononova A.E.

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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Kononova A.E. Socioeconomic factors of children health in Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 4. P. 94-102


This paper examines relationship between socioeconomic status and physical health in childhood. Social factors of health inequalities are a prominent research topic of study in recent decades. Results suggest that social and economic factors – including economic resources, living conditions, education, life style – affect health outcomes. These findings are verified for many countries regardless of measurement methods. And it is true across lifespan from birth and childhood to adulthood. It is especially worth paying attention to children’s health because bad health in childhood is burdened twice – in addition to family expenditures on health care and medicines due to child’s disease – poor health leads to lower level of human capital in future. This paper uses Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey data to estimate role of social and economic factors in children’s health in Russia. Analysis was performed on a subsample of 0-6 year olds. Information about children's parents and households was matched to this subsample. Several health indicators were tested – permanent health perception, chronic conditions, and transitory health state. The results of the study show that all types of child health measurement are significantly connected to maternal health state and mothers’ behavior, especially alcohol consumption. The findings provide no support for hypothesis about crucial role of main socioeconomic factors in health – family welfare, maternal education, mother’s age, marital status, and employment status. These results provide evidence that there is a huge difference between key social factors of children health in Russia and most other countries. It is suggested that the reason for this fact is that Russian socioeconomic groups are likely not so different in behaviors, attitudes toward health life style, access to quality medical care as are social classes in other countries.

socioeconomic status; child health; life style
Content No 4, 2016