Social Inequalities in Psychological Well-Being: A European Comparison



Stefanie Schütte, Jean-François Chastang, Agnès Parent-Thirion, Greet Vermeylen, Isabelle Niedhammer

Community Mental Health Journal

March 2014



The objective was to explore the educational differences in psychological well-being, measured using the WHO-5 Index, among 15,362 men and 20,272 women in 31 European countries. Relative Index of Inequality, multilevel logistic regression analyses and interaction tests were performed. Within Europe, large cross-national differences in the prevalence of poor well-being were observed. In almost all countries, the prevalence of poor well-being was higher in low educational groups, but the magnitude of these inequalities was much larger in some countries than in others. The highest social differences in well-being were observed in the European Union candidates countries among both genders. Future health promotion programs should consider strategies that target lower educational groups.