Objective To study the relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) and adolescent substance use and explore the role of poor mental health in that relationship. Methods Adolescents aged 11-15 years participated in the Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey in Armenia. Robust Poisson regression and counterfactual mediation analysis were used. Results In a pooled analysis with 6512 adolescents, the adjusted prevalences of current smoking (prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.93, 95%CI = 1.29-2.88), weekly beer (PR = 1.46, 95%CI = 1.07-2.01), spirits (PR = 1.54, 95%CI = 1.01-2.37) or lifetime cannabis use (PR = 3.10, 95%CI = 0.91-10.59) were greater in low-SEP adolescents compared to the middle-SEP group. Poor mental health explained 25.6%-54.7% of that relationship. Similarly, high-SEP adolescents had increased risks of current smoking (PR = 1.54, 95%CI = 0.98-2.42), weekly beer (PR = 1.55, 95%CI = 1.11-2.18), spirit (PR = 1.58, 95%CI = 1.02-2.45), wine (PR = 1.33 95%CI = 1.01-1.75) intake, than middle-SEP adolescents. Conclusions Both low- and high-SEP adolescents in Armenia are at greater risk of substance use than the middle-income group. Poor mental health substantially contributes to substance use among low-SEP adolescents. Additional studies are needed to clarify the motives for substance use among high-SEP adolescents.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Substance Use|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2022|
- socioeconomic position