Subjective health complaints in older adolescents are related to perceived stress, anxiety and gender: a cross-sectional school study in Northern Sweden
2012 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 12, no 993Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose: Adolescent subjective health has become a public health concern in Sweden and worldwide. The purpose of this study is to investigate perceived stress and subjective health complaints among older adolescents.
Methods: Data were derived from a school-based survey with a sample consisting of 16–18 year olds (n=1027), boys and girls, in high school grades 1 and 2, from different educational programs in three public high schools within a university municipality in northern Sweden. Perceived stress, self-rated health, subjective health complaints, anxiety, and depression, were measured with a questionnaire including a set of instruments.
Results: A large proportion of both girls and boys reported health complaints and perceived stress. There was a clear gender difference; girls reported two to three-fold higher proportions of subjective health complaints such as headache, tiredness and sleeping difficulties, musculoskeletal pain, as well as sadness and anxiety. Pressure and demands correlated strongly with psychosomatic symptoms (r=0.71) and anxiety (r=0.71).
Conclusions: The results indicate that subjective health complaints are prevalent during adolescence, especially in girls, and furthermore that perceived stress and demands may be important explanatory factors. Future studies should pay attention to the balance between gender-related demands, perceived control and social support, particularly in the school environment, in order to prevent negative strain and stress-related ill-health. The gender gap in adolescent health needs to be further explored.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 12, no 993
adolescent, high school students, mental health, stress, psychosomatic, pain, anxiety, depression, sleep, Sweden/epidemiology
tonår, ungdomar, gymnasieelever, kön, genus, psykisk hälsa, skolhälsovård, elevhälsa, stress, psykosomatiska besvär, huvudvärk, värk, smärta, sömn, sömnproblem, ångest, depression
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject Public health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37136DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-993OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37136DiVA: diva2:358060
ProjectsStress and Health in Youth (Umeå SHY)
FunderForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2006-1512Swedish Research Council, 521-2005-4848