Self-assessed health status and morbidity experiences of teenagers in Nairobi’s low income settings

This study uses data collected between March and June 2000 by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) among slum communities in Nairobi, Kenya. It examines factors associated with self-assessed health status among 1654 teenage boys and girls. Analysis involved logistic regression and multilevel models. The results show a significant but non-linear association between prior morbidity experiences and self-assessed health; gender differences in self-assessed health status with female teenagers being more inclusive in their assessment of health status than male teenagers. Another finding is that father’s absence was significantly associated with lower likelihood of reporting good health for male teenagers, and mother’s absence in the case of female teenagers. Female teenagers who had experienced physical abuse were less likely to report good health compared to those who had not. These findings suggest a need for adolescent health interventions to not only target all aspects of health but also take the gender dimensions of it into account. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Self-assessed health status and morbidity experiences of teenagers in Nairobi’s low income settings
Author: Obare, Francis
Year: 2007
Periodical: African Population Studies
Volume: 22
Issue: 1
Pages: 3-21
Language: English
Geographic term: Kenya
Abstract: This study uses data collected between March and June 2000 by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) among slum communities in Nairobi, Kenya. It examines factors associated with self-assessed health status among 1654 teenage boys and girls. Analysis involved logistic regression and multilevel models. The results show a significant but non-linear association between prior morbidity experiences and self-assessed health; gender differences in self-assessed health status with female teenagers being more inclusive in their assessment of health status than male teenagers. Another finding is that father’s absence was significantly associated with lower likelihood of reporting good health for male teenagers, and mother’s absence in the case of female teenagers. Female teenagers who had experienced physical abuse were less likely to report good health compared to those who had not. These findings suggest a need for adolescent health interventions to not only target all aspects of health but also take the gender dimensions of it into account. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]