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Trends in childhood and adolescent internalizing symptoms: results from Swedish population based twin cohorts
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2019 (English)In: BMC Psychology, E-ISSN 2050-7283, Vol. 7, article id 50Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Previous research has noted trends of increasing internalizing problems (e.g., symptoms of depression and anxiety), particularly amongst adolescent girls. Cross-cohort comparisons using identical assessments of both anxiety and depression in youth are lacking, however.

METHODS: In this large twin study, we examined trends in internalizing symptoms in samples of 9 year old children and 15 year old adolescents, gathered from successive birth cohorts from 1998 to 2008 (age 9) and 1994-2001 (age 15). Assessments at age 9 were parent-rated, and at age 15 self- and parent-rated. We examined (i) the relation between birth cohorts and internalizing symptoms using linear regressions, and (ii) whether percentages of participants exceeding scale cut-off scores changed over time, using Cochrane Armitage Trend Tests.

RESULTS: Among 9 year old children, a significantly increasing percentage of participants (both boys and girls) had scores above cut-off on anxiety symptoms, but not on depressive symptoms. At age 15, a significantly increasing percentage of participants (both boys and girls) had scores above cut-off particularly on self-reported internalizing symptoms. On parent-reported internalizing symptoms, only girls demonstrated a corresponding trend.

CONCLUSION: In line with previous studies, we found small changes over sequential birth cohorts in frequencies of depression and anxiety symptoms in children. Further, these changes were not exclusive to girls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2019. Vol. 7, article id 50
Keywords [en]
Adolescence, Childhood, Epidemiology, Internalizing, Prevalence
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165296DOI: 10.1186/s40359-019-0326-8PubMedID: 31375136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-165296DiVA, id: diva2:1371460
Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-20 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved

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