Gender differences in subjective well-being, Self esteem and psychosocial functioning among adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and depression: a longitudinal population based study, using the HUNT data base
I dette longitudinelle forskningsprosjektet utforsket vi den psykososiale funksjonen til ungdommer og unge voksne med og uten symptomer på angst og depresjon. Deltakerne ble vurdert på tre tidspunkter: 1995-97 - Young HUNT 1 (rundt 9000 deltakere), 2000-2001 - Young HUNT 2 (omtrent 2500 deltakere) og 2006 - HUNT 3 (1300 deltakere).
Vi fant at forekomsten av symptomer på angst og depresjon var høyere hos jenter enn hos gutter. Tidligere og vedvarende symptomer på angst og depresjon hadde imidlertid mer negative konsekvenser for gutter enn for jenter. Tidligere, nåværende eller vedvarende symptomer på angst og depresjon var forbundet med mer redusert funksjon hos gutter enn hos jenter. Symptomdebut mellom første undersøkelse og oppfølgingstidspunktet var relatert til mindre hyppig samvær med venner for gutter, men ikke for jenter. Dessuten hadde gutter etter at symptomene bedret seg, fortsatt mer problemer med atferd og læring, de møtte venner sjeldnere og rapporterte lavere subjektiv velvære og selvfølelse enn gutter som ikke hadde symptomer på noen av tidspunktene. Ingen tilsvarende forskjeller ble funnet blant jentene.
Subjektiv velvære og hyppighet av samvær med venner i ungdomstida framsto som de viktigste prediktorene for fungering i voksen alder.
Resultatene tilsier at en bør være oppmerksom på redusert fungering hos menn og kvinner med symptomer på angst og depresjon, både i utredning og i behandling.
Gender differences in psychosocial functioning of adolescents
Despite a broad agreement on the importance of gender in anxiety and depression, research on gender differences in psychosocial functioning among individuals with symptoms of anxiety and depression is scarce. Identifying gender-specific psychosocial impairments may contribute to more efficient assessment, prevention and intervention.
In this longitudinal research project we explored psychosocial functioning of adolescents and young adults with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Data were taken from a large population based study, Helse Undersøkelsen i Nord-Trøndelag (HUNT). The participants were assessed at three time points: 1995-97 - Young HUNT 1; 2000-2001 - Young HUNT 2 and 2006 - HUNT 3.
The first study was a cross-sectional examination of the relations between adolescent psychosocial functioning and symptoms of anxiety and depression. In line with many other studies, we found that prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression was about 2.5 times higher in girls than in boys. However, the new finding was that the associations between such symptoms and lower subjective well-being, self-esteem, more academic problems and lower frequency of meeting friends were stronger among boys than among girls. These results draw attention to the unique role of functioning in male anxiety and depression, and may contribute to the development of better assessment and intervention methods. The study was published and presented at an international conference.
In the second study, we investigated longitudinally if associations between psychosocial functioning and symptoms of anxiety and depression differed between boys and girls in late adolescence. In the third paper we explored if adolescent characteristics could predict psychosocial functioning in adult men and women. Manuscripts describing these results are under review for publication. Some of these preliminary results have been presented in international conferences.
Gender differences in psychosocial functioning
Despite a large body of research on gender differences in adolescent anxiety and depression, little attention has been given to the question of whether the antecedents, concomitants and consequences of suffering from anxiety and depression differ for boys and girls. We explored this question using data of 3 waves of the HUNT study.
In the first part, we investigated gender differences in the cross-sectional associations between presence of symptoms of anxiety and depression and subjective well-being, self-esteem, school functioning and social relations in adolescents. Data were taken from a major population-based Norwegian study, (HUNT), in which 8984 (91% of all invited) adolescents completed an extensive self-report questionnaire. Their mean age was 16.6 and 50% of them were boys. We found that although prevalence rates of symptoms of anxiety and depression were higher in girls than in boys, lower subjective well-being, self-esteem and psychosocial functioning were more strongly associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression in boys than in girls. These findings have been published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, January 2011.
(Derdikman-Eiron R, Indredavik MS, Bratberg GH, Taraldsen G, Bakken IJ, Colton M. Gender differences in subjective well-being, self-esteem and psychosocial functioning in adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and depression: Findings from the Nord-Trøndelag health study. Scand J Psychol. 2011 Jan 25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00859.x. [Epub ahead of print])
This paper was submitted for publication before I got the funding from Samarbeidsorganet, and this is the reason for the lack of acknowledgment for samarbidsorganet.
The second study was a four years follow-up of 2354 (86% of all invited) participants of the first study. Their mean age was 14.4 at baseline and 18.4 at follow- up and 46% were boys. We further explored gender differences in the long term associations between presence of symptoms and subjective well-being, self esteem and psychosocial functioning. The results further strengthen the findings of our first paper. This paper has been submitted for publication and is currently under review.
In the third part, we followed subjects of the first paper into young adulthood, 14 years later, in order to explore gender specific predictors for psychosocial functioning in adulthood.
This paper is in preparation. The defence of the thesis is planned for Autumn 2011.
During 2010 research findings from this project have been presented in The World Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry, in Beijing, China, in June 2010, and in the 12th Social and Community Psychology Conference in the psykologisk institutt, NTNU, November 2010.
Gender differences in psychosocial functioning of adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and depression: longitudinal findings from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2012 Nov;47(11):1855-63. Epub 2012 mar 2
PMID: 22382555 - Inngår i doktorgradsavhandlingen
Gender differences in subjective well-being, self-esteem and psychosocial functioning in adolescents with symptoms of anxiety and depression: findings from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study.
Scand J Psychol 2011 Jun;52(3):261-7. Epub 2011 jan 25
PMID: 21265857 - Inngår i doktorgradsavhandlingen
Gender differences in the associations between anxiety and depression and psychosocial functioning in adolescence and adulthood
- september 2012
- Marit S. Indredavik