Objectives: The aim of this thesis is to study the association between social relations and health in different social spheres, and to examine possible interaction effects.
Material and Methods: In Paper I, the link between measures of the psychosocial neighbourhood environment, the psychosocial working environment, and psychosomatic health is analyzed by using a subset of data from the survey Life and Health 2000.
In Paper II, the association between adolescent social relationships in school and psychosomatic health was analyzed by using the survey Young in Värmland.
In Paper III, the association between parental monitoring, peer activity frequency, and adolescent alcohol use was studied by using Young in Värmland as the data source.
In Paper IV, the links between adolescent perceptions of the psychosocial school climate, activities with parents, and psychosomatic health, were analysed by using Young in Värmland as the data source.
Results: The results from Paper I indicate that social relations in the neighbourhood environment, as well as the working environment, are independently related to psychosomatic health. The independent contributions imply that efforts to improve health can be successfully directed to the psychosocial neighbourhood environment, as well as to the psychosocial working environment.
The results from Paper II show that the social relations adolescents have in school may differ between subgroups of adolescents. The health effects of teacher contacts were stronger for the theoretically oriented students compared to the non-theoretically oriented students, suggesting that adolescents should be considered a heterogeneous group rather than a homogeneous one with respect to their social relations in school. Efforts to improve equity in health should consider these differences in order to be successful.
In Paper III the results imply that even though both parents and the peer group are important in order to understand the alcohol use patterns of adolescents, the importance of parents should not be underestimated. Parental monitoring had a protective effect on adolescent alcohol use, regardless of the frequency of peer activities.
In Paper IV, both the psychosocial school climate, and the frequency of activities with parents were related to psychosomatic health. The positive health effects of the psychosocial school climate were, furthermore, reinforced as a function of the frequency of activities with parents. This suggests that efforts to improve health should be directed to the school environment as well as to the family environment in order to be successful.
Conclusions: The importance and meaning of social relations differ between different social arenas as well as between sub-groups of individuals.
Karlstad: Karlstad University , 2011. , 107 p.
2011-06-07, Ericssonsalen, 9C 204, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)