A cross-national examination of the determinants of self-assessed health
Zimmer,Zachary; Natividad,Josefina N.; Lin,Hui-Sheng; Chayovan,Napaporn
Journal of Health and Social Behavior 41(4): 465-481
Publication date: 2000
Self-assessed health measures are often utilized in surveys of older adults, and these have been found to be powerful predictors of other health indicators and future health. However, there is still much that is puzzling about the measure. Few studies use comparative techniques to ascertain the determinants of self-assessed health across diverse settings. Using recent data from the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand, the current study tests whether determinants of self-assessed health are similar across samples and whether there are distinct country effects acting upon the association. Ordered probit models reveal that, on the one hand, the determinants of self-assessed health are relatively similar across the three countries, while, on the other, the overall probabilities of reporting favorable self-assessed health remain differentiated even when controlling for a broad series of determinants. The results suggest that cultural variation in the interpretation of health may be a factor and that more subtle measures should be included in future studies of this nature.