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Type: Journal article
Title: The index of relative socio-economic disadvantage: general population views on indicators used to determine area-based disadvantage
Author: Walker, R.
Hiller, J.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2005; 29(5):442-447
Publisher: Public Health Assoc Australia Inc
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 1326-0200
Statement of
Ruth Walker and J. E. Hiller
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To ascertain general population perceptions of the importance of indicators comprising the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD). METHODS: Data for this study came from a face-to-face Health Omnibus survey of 3,001 residents in metropolitan and country South Australia, conducted in 2003. RESULTS: Overall, respondents viewed the IRSD indicators as important. Of the 14 indicators, seven were seen as important by more than two-thirds of respondents (ranging from 90% perceiving the number of families with children and a low income important to 68% perceiving the number of one-parent families with dependent children as important). Younger respondents and those of lower educational attainment were more likely to perceive the indicators as unimportant, compared with older people. For example, 14% of people aged 15–24 vs. 5% of people aged 55–64 (p<0.001) viewed the indicator ‘number of one-parent families and dependent children’ as unimportant. CONCLUSIONS: While the general population generally recognises the IRSD indicators as important measures of area-based disadvantage, there were systematic age differences in the degree to which individual indicators were deemed important. There was a general lack of support for several indicators (such as proportion of people separated/divorced, houses with no cars). Implications: This research raises the question of which factors are important in representing area-based disadvantage for young people and equally the use of this index when examining variations in the health of young Australians.
Keywords: Humans; Data Collection; Social Conditions; Poverty; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Middle Aged; Vulnerable Populations; South Australia; Female; Male
Description: Copyright © 2005 Public Health Association Australia The definitive version is available at
RMID: 0020051133
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.2005.tb00224
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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