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Trends in childhood and adolescent internalizing symptoms: results from Swedish population based twin cohorts
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Social medicine/CHAP. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Centre of Ethics Law and Mental Health, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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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
2019. Vol. 7, article id 50
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401416DOI: 10.1186/s40359-019-0326-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401416DiVA, id: diva2:1383362
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017–02552Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareStiftelsen Söderström - Königska sjukhemmet
Note

Natalie Durbeej and Karolina Sörman contributed equally to this work.

Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-13Bibliographically approved

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