A RESEARCH SEMINAR ON INFLUENCE OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS ON HEALTH OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN KINETICS AND HEALTH EDUCATION IN THE UNIVERSITY OF UYO, UYO
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The study assessed the influence of socio-economic status on the health of undergraduate students of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The objectives included how students’ monthly allowance and students’ lifestyle and influence on physical and psychological health. A survey design was used for the study. The 138 final year undergraduates in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education served purposively as the sample size (mean age of 23 ± 3 years of age). A self-structured questionnaire in a check-list form served as the instrument, having been validated by three experts and its reliability tested accordingly in a pre-test study outside the main study group. The descriptive (percentage) statistics was used for the research questions while the Chi-square contingency statistics was used to test the hypotheses, set at P ≤ .05 significant confident level. The findings of the study were that Students’ monthly allowance and lifestyle do have significant influence on Physical and Psychological Health of undergraduate students of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, University of Uyo, Uyo. The study concluded that with reasonable increase in students’ monthly allowance very high healthy physical health and better psychological health can be attained if the students also maintain positive lifestyle. The study recommended that parents should provide much for their students and Parents should look well after their university students while Government should assist with study grants and scholarships to help students live and study without distress thereby promoting good physical and psychological health.
Personal good health has been considered globally as the greatest asset of an individual and the nation. The healthy people are the ones to develop the country and the society economically, politically and security wise. Good health cannot be attained by the people without a positive attitude towards health care (WHO (2021). The influence of socio-economic status (SES) on health has been studied for a long time. In the 1960s, academics generally believed that with medical technology and economic development, health of all people should improve at least in the developed countries as well (Hausmann-Muela, Ribenia and Nyamongo, 2021;.Mackenbach and Stronks, 2020). However, Katung (2020), found that unhealthy conditions in Nigeria generally has not only diminished, but actually increased, especially among the poor ones.
The study is guided by the Health Belief Model first propounded in the 1950s by social psychologist Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kengel working in the U.S. Public Services (Rosenstock 1974). This is done by focusing on the attitude and belief of individuals. The model was developed in tesponse to the failure of a free tuberculosis (TB) health screening programme. Since then HBM has been adapted to explore a variety of long and short health behaviour, including sexual risk behaviour and the transmission of HIV and AIDS. The model is relevant to the study, in that the HBM is based on the understanding that a person will take a health related action (i.e. seek ways of maintaining good health) if that person:
- Feels that anegative health condition from diseases can be avoided.
- Has a positive expectation that by taking a recommended action, he/she will avoid a negative condition (i.e. thick of living healthily) and
- Believes that he/she can successfully take a recommended hellth action (i.e. he/she can actually have a lifestyle for a positive health).
The HBM was spelled out in terms of four constructs representing the perceived threat and net benefits: perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits and perceived barriers. These concept were proposed as accounting for peoples “readiness to act”. An added concept, cues to action, would activate that readiness and stimulate overt behaviour. A recent addition to the HBM is the concept of self-efficacy, or one’s confidence in the ability to perform an action. This concept was added by Rosenstock and others in 1988 to help the HBM better fit the challenges of changing habitual unhealthy behaviours, such as being proactive in healthy lifestyle. With this model information, students would act in such a way that would promote better health, physically, mentally, socially and psychologically and not merely absence of disease and infirmity and psychological health behaviours of student in relation to their socio-economic statuses.
The Concept of Socio-Economic Status
Socio-economic status (SES) is defined as “an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s economic access to resources and social position in relation to others” (Margarate, Isaac, Joseph and Charles, 2021). When analyzing a family’s SES, most often the family, the earners’ education, and occupation are examined, as well as combined income, whereas for an individual’s SES only their own attribute are assessed. However, SES is more commonly used to depict an economic difference in society as a whole (Marmot, 2017). Socio-economic status is typically broken into three levels (high, middle and low) to describe the three places a family or an individual may fall into. When placing a family or an individual into this categories, any or all the three variables (income, education and occupation) can be assessed. In sum, the majority of researchers agree that income, education and occupation together best represent SES, while some others feel that changes in family structure should be considered. The present study is therefore considering students’ monthly allowance as the income (the pocket money) and the lifestyle and how they affect physical and psychological health of the student.
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