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Self-rated Health Status of Young Female Adolescents in Jamaica

Background: The study of young female adolescents in Jamaica is sparse and few, in particular on reported health status. This research seeks to examine the self-reported health status of young female 12-17 years and to model factors that influence good health status of young female adolescents.

Method: This study utilizes a 2002 Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC). The survey is a nationally representative cross-sectional one in which data was collected using stratified random sample, during June - October 2002. It is a modification of the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) household survey. The current study used a sub-sample of 1,565 female respondents between the ages of 12 to 17 years, with a mean age of 14.4 years (± 1.7 years).

Results: Four variables emerged as accounting for 20.3% of the variability in reported good health status of young females. The factors are cost of medical care (OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 1.00, 1.00), private health care insurance coverage (OR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.09), number of females in household (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.90), and health care seeking behaviour (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.04, 1.52).

Conclusion: The findings are far reaching and can be used to guide policy. Any policy that seeks to address the well-being of female adolescents must incorporate the advancement of the household, social and economic factors coupled with the needs of the individual


Paul Andrew Bourne

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