Relative deprivation in the Nordic countries-child mental health problems in relation to parental financial stress.


BACKGROUND: The Nordic welfare system has been acknowledged as favourable for children, successfully contributing to low child mortality and poverty rates. Nevertheless, mental health problems among children and adolescents are common and the economic situation of the family has been highlighted as an important determinant. In spite of similar social, political and cultural structures, the Nordic countries differ; Iceland was most affected by the global financial crisis in 2008. The aim of this study was to examine potential differences in parental financial stress and the associations to child mental health between the Nordic countries as well as age and gender differences. METHODS: The study sample consisted of 6330 children aged 4-16 years old included in the 2011 version of the Nordic Study of Children’s Health, Wellbeing and Quality of life. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was used to measure mental health problems. RESULTS: In Iceland, 47.7% of the parents reported financial stress while