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‘It All Kind of Links Really’: Young People’s Perspectives on the Relationship between Socioeconomic Circumstances and Health

Fairbrother, Hannah and Woodrow, Nicholas and Crowder, Mary and Holding, Eleanor and Griffin, Naomi and Er, Vanessa and Dodd-Reynolds, Caroline and Egan, Matt and Lock, Karen and Scott, Steph and Summerbell, Carolyn and McKeown, Rachael and Rigby, Emma and Kyle, Phillippa and Goyder, Elizabeth (2022) '‘It All Kind of Links Really’: Young People’s Perspectives on the Relationship between Socioeconomic Circumstances and Health.', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (6). p. 3679.


Meaningful inclusion of young people’s perceptions and experiences of inequalities is argued to be critical in the development of pro-equity policies. Our study explored young people’s perceptions of what influences their opportunities to be healthy within their local area and their understandings of health inequalities. Three interlinked qualitative focus group discussions, each lasting 90 to 100 min, with the same six groups of young people (n = 42) aged 13–21, were conducted between February and June 2021. Participants were recruited from six youth groups in areas of high deprivation across three geographical locations in England (South Yorkshire, the North East and London). Our study demonstrates that young people understand that health inequalities are generated by social determinants of health, which in turn influence behaviours. They highlight a complex interweaving of pathways between social determinants and health outcomes. However, they do not tend to think in terms of the social determinants and their distribution as resulting from the power and influence of those who create and benefit from health and social inequalities. An informed understanding of the causes of health inequalities, influenced by their own unique generational experiences, is important to help young people contribute to the development of pro-equity policies of the future.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:12 March 2022
Date deposited:06 July 2022
Date of first online publication:19 March 2022
Date first made open access:06 July 2022

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