Health consequences of young people not in employment, education or training: analysis of mortality risk in Scotland
Feng, Z., Everington, D., Ralston, K. & Dibben, C. (2017) UK Administrative Data Research Network Annual Research Conference, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, UK, 1 - 2 June 2017 [SLS]
Young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) are a serious policy concern in many European countries. The Europe 2020 flagship initiative Youth on the Move specifies a number of programmes that aim to reduce the number of NEET young people and re-engage them into education and labour market. Although young people not in employment, education or training have been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups since the 1990s, little is known about the long-term effect of NEET experiences, especially the health consequences.
This paper investigates whether being NEET is associated with a higher risk of death. We used the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS), which collates information from the 1991, 2001, and 2011 censuses as well as from vital events, for a 5.3% representative sample of the Scottish population. Linked health data such as hospital admissions are also available.
We followed around 10,000 young people who were aged 16-19 in 1991 up to 2010. We explored whether NEET young people in 1991 displayed a higher risk of mortality in the 20 years of the follow-up period. Both descriptive and modelling approaches were used in our analysis. Cox models were fitted to predict the risk of death for NEET young people compared to that of non-NEETs. Confounders included individual socioeconomic characteristics, health conditions and local area characteristics. Modelling results showed that being NEET in 1991 was associated with an elevated risk of mortality. The elevated risk remained even when the models were fitted separately by gender. Policy intervention is necessary in assisting NEET young people to re-engage in education or employment.