Educational inequalities in self-rated health within the Arab minority in Israel: Explanatory factors

Nihaya Daoud, Varda Soskolne, Orly Manor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Studies on factors explaining the socioeconomic inequalities in health within ethnic minorities are scarce. This study examines the contribution of material conditions, and psychosocial, community, cultural and behavioural factors to explaining educational disparities in self-rated health (SRH) within the Arab minority in Israel. Methods: In 2005, a national random sample of 902 persons aged 30-70 was selected in a multistage sampling procedure for interviewing. We used multistage logistic regression modelling to examine the percent of attenuations in odds ratios (OR) of extreme categories for education (low vs. high) in the associations with SRH after inclusion of explanatory variables. Results: Education was significantly associated with SRH [odds ratio (OR) = 3.86, 95 confidence interval (CI) = 2.30-6.47]. The separate inclusion of material conditions reduced the OR of poor SRH by 43. Psychosocial, community or behavioural variables reduced it by 17, 26 and 11, respectively. Combining each group of factors with material conditions led to small additional reductions in OR. Integrating all explanatory variables reduced OR by 54, with the association becoming non-significant. Cultural variables were not associated with SRH and were therefore not included in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Material conditions are a major factor in explaining the educational disparities in SRH among Arabs in Israel. Most of the impact of psychosocial and health behaviours, together with part of the community effects, operated through material conditions. Reduction of educational inequalities in SRH requires provision of educational attainment opportunities accompanied by employment opportunities assuring equivalent material gains. Further examination of factors explaining health inequalities among other minorities is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arab minority
  • Explanatory pathways
  • Israel
  • Self-rated health
  • Socioeconomic inequalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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