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How does the sexual, physical and mental health of young adults not in education, employment or training (NEET) compare to workers and students?

Tanton, C; McDonagh, L; Cabecinha, M; Clifton, S; Geary, R; Rait, G; Saunders, J; ... Mercer, CH; + view all (2021) How does the sexual, physical and mental health of young adults not in education, employment or training (NEET) compare to workers and students? BMC Public Health , 21 , Article 412. 10.1186/s12889-021-10229-6. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Syndemic theory highlights the potential for health problems to interact synergistically, compounding impact. Young adults not in education, employment or training (NEET) are more likely to experience disadvantage and poorer general health outcomes. However, there is little research on their sexual health, or the extent to which this clusters with mental and physical health outcomes. METHODS: Analysis of data from 16 to 24 year olds (1729 men, 2140 women) interviewed 2010-12 for Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. Natsal-3 is a national probability sample survey using computer-assisted personal interviewing with computer-assisted self-interviewing. Participants were classified as workers, students or NEET. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between being NEET (relative to worker or student) and risk behaviours and outcomes in physical, sexual and mental health domains. We then examined how risk behaviours and poor health outcomes cluster within and across domains. RESULTS: 15% men and 20% women were NEET; 36% men and 32% women were workers; and 49% men and 48% women were students. Young people who were NEET were more likely to report smoking and drug use (men) than other young people. There were few differences in sexual health, although NEETs were more likely to report condomless sex, and NEET women, unplanned pregnancy (past year). Risk behaviours clustered more within and across domains for NEET men. Among NEET women, poor health outcomes clustered across mental, physical and sexual health domains. CONCLUSIONS: Harmful health behaviours (men) and poor health outcomes (women) clustered more in those who are NEET. This points to a possible syndemic effect of NEET status on general ill health, especially for women. Our paper is novel in highlighting that elevated risk pertains to sexual as well as mental and physical health.

Type: Article
Title: How does the sexual, physical and mental health of young adults not in education, employment or training (NEET) compare to workers and students?
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-10229-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10229-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Clustering, Cross-sectional survey, Not in education, employment or training (NEET), Sexual health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123601
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