Objective and Subjective Socioeconomic Position and Current Smoking Among Korean Adolescents


Background: Despite social gradients in adult smoking, the effects of socioeconomic position (SEP) onadolescent smoking is not well understood. This study examined effects of subjective SEP as well as the objectiveSEP on smoking among Korean adolescents. Materials and
Methods: Data were obtained from the 2012 KoreaYouth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey, a nationally representative sample of middle and high school students(38,221 boys; 35,965 girls). SEP was assessed by the Family Affluence Scale (FAS) and the self-rated householdeconomic status. Relationships between SEP and smoking were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression.
Results: The low perceived SEP for either the high or low FAS grade was related to an elevated likelihood ofsmoking in both genders. A significantly higher risk of smoking was found in boys of low perceived SEP in middleschool (odds ratio [OR] 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-1.77 for high FAS, OR 1.55; 95% CI 1.21-1.98for low FAS), and of low perceived SEP and high FAS in high school (OR 1.13; 95% CI 1.02-1.26). Among girls,an elevated risk of smoking was observed in middle school group with low perceived SEP and low FAS (OR2.01; 95% CI 1.44-2.79) and in the high school group of low perceived SEP, regardless of FAS level (OR 1.34;95% CI 1.14-1.57 for high FAS, OR 1.31; 95% CI 1.04-1.65 for low FAS).
Conclusions: The relationship ofsubjectively perceived SEP with smoking is as important as objective SEP and more significant in Korean highschool adolescents.