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Chaeeun Kim 1 Article
Changes in Adolescent Health Behavior and the Exacerbation of Economic Hardship During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Study From the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Chaeeun Kim, Haeun Lee, Kyunghee Jung-Choi, Hyesook Park
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):18-27.   Published online November 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.306
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
This study investigated the association between exacerbated economic hardship during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and changes in the health behaviors of Korean adolescents.
Methods
We analyzed data from the 2021 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey and included 44 908 students (22 823 boys and 22 085 girls) as study subjects. The dependent variables included changes in health behaviors (breakfast habits, physical activity, and alcohol use) that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aggravation of economic hardship by COVID-19 and the subjective economic status of the family were used as exposure variables. Multiple logistic regression analysis was utilized to calculate the prevalence odds ratios (PORs).
Results
Severe exacerbation of a family’s economic hardship due to COVID-19 was negatively associated with the health behaviors of adolescents, including increased breakfast skipping (POR, 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.55 to 2.21 for boys and POR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.92 for girls) and decreased physical activity (POR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.57 for boys and POR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.60 for girls). These negative changes in health behaviors were further amplified when combined with a low subjective family economic status.
Conclusions
The experience of worsening household hardship can lead to negative changes in health behavior among adolescents. It is crucial to implement measures that address the economic challenges that arise from stressful events such as COVID-19 and to strive to improve the lifestyles of adolescents under such circumstances.
Summary
Korean summary
이 연구는 코로나바이러스감염증-19 (COVID-19) 대유행 기간 악화된 가구의 경제적 상황과 청소년의 건강 행태 변화의 관련성을 청소년건강행태조사를 이용하여 분석하였다. 가구의 경제적 상황이 COVID-19로 인해 심각하게 악화된 경우, 청소년 건강 행태의 부정적인 변화와 연관성이 관찰되었다. 가구의 경제적 상황이 악화되는 경험은 청소년들의 건강 행태에 부정적인 변화를 초래할 수 있다. COVID-19와 같은 사회적 사건으로 인해 발생하는 경제적 어려움에 대응하는 조치를 마련하고, 이러한 상황에서 청소년들의 건강 행태를 개선하기 위한 개입이 필요하다.
Key Message
This study investigated the association between exacerbated economic hardship during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and changes in the health behaviors of Korean adolescents using the 2021 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Severe exacerbation of a family’s economic hardship due to COVID-19 was negatively associated with the health behaviors of adolescents. The experience of worsening household hardship can lead to negative changes in health behavior among adolescents. It is crucial to implement measures that address the economic challenges that arise from stressful events such as COVID-19 and to strive to improve the lifestyles of adolescents under such circumstances.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health