The health and well-being of adolescents: a school-based population study of the self-report child health questionnaire

Waters, Elizabeth, Salmon, Louisa A., Wake, Melissa, Wright, Martin and Hesketh, Kylie 2001, The health and well-being of adolescents: a school-based population study of the self-report child health questionnaire, Journal of adolescent health, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 140-149, doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(01)00211-7.

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Title The health and well-being of adolescents: a school-based population study of the self-report child health questionnaire
Author(s) Waters, Elizabeth
Salmon, Louisa A.
Wake, Melissa
Wright, Martin
Hesketh, KylieORCID iD for Hesketh, Kylie
Journal name Journal of adolescent health
Volume number 29
Issue number 2
Start page 140
End page 149
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2001-08
ISSN 1054-139x
Keyword(s) adolescent
health status
child Health Questionnaire
Summary Purpose: To evaluate a new generic measure of adolescent health status, the self-report version of the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ), and provide population-based data. Furthermore, we aimed to examine the impact of common adolescent illness and health concerns on their health and well-being.

A stratified, two-stage, random cluster sampling design was used to obtain a cross-sectional sample of subjects through schools. A written questionnaire included the 80-item 12-scale self-report CHQ and items measuring health concerns, illnesses/health conditions, and sociodemographics.

Results: A total of 2361 adolescents participated (response rate of 70%). Reliability was high: Tests of internal consistency and discriminant validity reported 90% of item-scale correlations >.4; all scales had Cronbach alpha coefficients >.7. Adolescents with illnesses/conditions or health concerns reported lower scores and larger differences for content-related scales, supporting content and construct validity. Statistically significant age and gender trends were observed for Mental Health, Self-Esteem, General Health, and Family Cohesion scales. Health status worsened as health concerns increased (X2 linear trend, p = .00) with deterioration in health of 5–20% on all scales for emotional health concerns (40% of sample).

Conclusions: The self-report CHQ is a reliable and seemingly valid measure of health and well-being for adolescent health research, although additional measures may be required where scales have high ceiling values. The significantly lower scores reported by adolescents with illness and/or health concerns lend support to the use of standardized health measures and longitudinal research to further examine the impact of adolescent comorbidities and their causal determinants.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/S1054-139X(01)00211-7
Field of Research 111704 Community Child Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Society for Adolescent Medicine
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