Decomposing of Socioeconomic Inequality in Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Study into Female-Headed Households

Yousef Veisani, Ali Delpisheh


Background: Connection between socioeconomic statuses and mental health has been reported already. Accordingly, mental health asymmetrically is distributed in society; therefore, people with disadvantaged condition suffer from inconsistent burden of mental disorders. In this study, we aimed to understand the determinants of socioeconomic inequality of mental health in the female-headed households and decomposed contributions of socioeconomic determinants in mental health.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 787 female-headed households were enrolled using systematic random sampling in 2014. Data were taken from the household assets survey and a self-administered 28 item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) as a screening tool for detection of possible cases of mental disorders. Inequality was measured by concentration index (CI) and as decomposing contribution in inequality. All analyses were performed by standard statistical software Stata 11.2.

Results: The overall CI for mental health in the female-headed households was -0.049 (95% CI: -0.072, 0.025). The highly positive contributors for inequality in mental health in the female-headed households were age (34%) and poor household economic status (22%).

Conclusions: Socioeconomic inequalities exist in mental health into female-headed households and mental health problems more prevalent in women with lower socioeconomic status.


Female-Headed Households; Concentration index; Mental Health; Socioeconomic Inequality; Decomposition

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