Gesundheitswesen 2019; 81(08/09): 750-751
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1694623
Kongresstag 3: 18.09.2019
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Understanding the institutional context of health inequalities among young people: Study protocol for a multi-center research unit

M Richter
1   Institute of Medical Sociology, Medical Faculty, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle
N Dragano
2   Institute of Medical Sociology, Centre for Health and Society, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf
T Lampert
3   Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin
S Schneider
4   Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim
J Spallek
5   Department of Public Health, Faculty for Social Work, Health, and Music, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Senftenberg
L Sundmacher
6   Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, München
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 August 2019 (online)



While health inequalities among young people are well described, the underlying mechanisms have been explored far less. Compositional and contextual characteristics of institutional contexts (e.g. kindergartens, schools) are likely to shape health inequalities among young people and may have an impact above and beyond individual-level determinants. The general research objectives of the research unit are to empirically study if characteristics of different institutional contexts are associated with the emergence of individual-level inequalities in health and c) to integrate findings from different life stages into a comprehensive theoretical model about the key mechanisms at individual and contextual levels.

Methods and analysis:

Building upon reviews of the existing evidence, each of the five subprojects of the research unit will analyse secondary data (cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys). The subprojects will focus on institutional contexts that serve as major socialization agents in society, such as the family, kindergarten, school, tertiary education/work, as well as the health care system. Linear or logistic multilevel modelling will be applied in order to examine the role of institutional characteristics for young people's health and health inequalities at the individual level.

Ethics and dissemination:

The dissemination activities include the publication of results in peer-reviewed journals, at international and national scientific conferences, as well as press releases in written and broadcast media to inform relevant stakeholders and the lay public. In the first funding stage, the research unit only uses secondary data of existing datasets. Therefore, ethical approval is not required.