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Stress and health in adolescents:The role of potential protective factors
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, Department of Social Work and Health Science.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by multiple changes in virtually every aspect of an individual’s life, calling for new psychological adaptations. Exposure to different stressors caused by these changes represents a central and normal part of the process of growth and development during adolescence. However, experience of cumulative and simultaneous negative stressors remains central as a potential threat to the well-being and healthy development during adolescence. Meanwhile, when faced with identical stressors, the stress process and the health outcomes of stress vary individually; the outcome depends on the role of different vulnerabilities and protective factors, in the individual as well as in the environment.

The present thesis comprises an investigation of the role and nature of adolescent stressors and the association between stress and different health outcomes (emotional states, selfesteem and subjective health complaints). Gender and age differences on stress and the health outcome variables are also assessed. The thesis further considers the role of three potential protective factors with importance for stress and coping processes, as well as for health and well-being during adolescence; leisure time physical activity, self-esteem and sense of coherence (SOC). The factor structure and psychometric properties of the Norwegian version of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N), a questionnaire assessing stressors common in adolescence, are also investigated. The thesis is based on three cross-sectional samples of Norwegian adolescents 13-18 years, attending public elementary and secondary schools in rural and urban areas in the two counties of the middle part of Norway

The findings support a reliable and valid nine-factor structure of the ASQ-N. Moreover, girls seem to report higher levels of stress, more emotional symptoms and subjective health complaints than boys, especially in the age group 15-16 years. Conversely boys score higher on self-esteem. Both total sum stress and domain specific stress, especially in interpersonal contexts, is related to more emotional problems, lower self-esteem and more subjective health complaints in both boys and girls. The thesis has also revealed the positive role of leisure time physical activity, sense of coherence and self-esteem, controlled for experience of stress, in association with adolescents’ health outcomes. Methodological, theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Abstract [no]

Ungdomstiden er en utviklingsperiode i livet der den unge må tilpasse seg mange ulike forandringer, både fysiske, psykiske og sosiale. Å utsettes for ulike stressorer, forårsaket av disse store endringene, utgjør en sentral og normal del av vekst og utvikling hos ungdom. Imidlertid representerer opplevelse av mange negative og samtidige stressorer en potensiell trussel mot ungdoms helse og velvære. Når ungdom utsettes for samme type stressor, vil stressprosessen og utfallet av stresspåvirkningen for de unges helse, gi individuelle variasjoner. Resultatet av stressprosessen og stresspåvirkningen på helse vil være avhengig av ulike sårbarhets- og beskyttende faktorer, både i individet og i omgivelsene.

Ph.d. avhandlingen omfatter en undersøkelse av hvilken rolle og betydning stressorer har i ungdoms hverdagsliv; hvordan stress er relatert til ungdoms psykiske helse, selvfølelse, og subjektive helseplager. Kjønns- og aldersforskjeller på stress og de ulike helsevariablene er også undersøkt. Avhandlingen vurderer betydningen av tre faktorer med potensiell betydning for prosesser knyttet til stress, mestring og helse hos ungdom; fysisk aktivitet i fritiden, selvfølelse og opplevelse av sammenheng. Ph.d. avhandlingen omfatter videre en undersøkelse av faktorstrukturen og de psykometriske egenskapene til den norske versjonen av The Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N), et spørreskjema som måler vanlig forekommende stressorer i ungdoms hverdagsliv. Avhandlingen baserer seg på tre tverrsnittsutvalg av ungdom i alderen 13-18 år og inkluderer ungdomsskoler og videregående skoler fra lands- og by områder i Trøndelag.

Resultatene av valideringen av ASQ-N støtter en faktorstruktur bestående av ni pålitelige og gyldige stressdimensjoner. Jenter, spesielt i 15-16 årsalderen, rapporterer høyere stressnivå, så  vel som mer emosjonelle og subjektive helseplager sammenlignet med gutter. Gutter derimot rapporterer i alle aldersklasser høyere grad av selvfølelse. Høyere skåre både på total sum stress og områdespesifikt stress, spesielt i mellommenneskelig kontekst, er funnet å være relatert til mer emosjonelle problemer, mer subjektive helseplager og lavere selvfølelse både hos gutter og jenter. Avhandlingen har videre avdekket at fysisk aktivitet, opplevelse av sammenheng og høy grad av selvfølelse har positiv betydning for ungdoms helse, kontrollert for opplevelse av stress. Metodologiske, teoretiske og praktiske implikasjoner av funnene er diskutert

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
Series
Doctoral theses at NTNU, ISSN 1503-8181 ; 2011:43
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12416ISBN: 978-82-471-2608-0 (printed ver.)ISBN: 978-82-471-2609-7 (electronic ver.)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ntnu-12416DiVA: diva2:408593
Public defence
2011-02-18, 00:00
Available from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Adolescent stress: Evaluation of the factor structure of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescent stress: Evaluation of the factor structure of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N)
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 51, no 3, 203-209 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study reports an evaluation of the factor structure of the Norwegian version of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N) among 723 students. Principal components analysis (PCA) revealed nine internally consistent dimensions of adolescent stress. Scales constructed from this PCA correlated positively with measures of depression and anxiety and negatively with self-esteem. Girls reported higher stress levels than boys in seven of the nine scales and age was also positively correlated with the scale scores of adolescent stress. The results revealed that the instrument has potential for measuring adolescent stress. The stability of the ASQ-N needs to be tested repeatedly, across cohorts and over time, to establish the adequacy for use in Norwegian adolescent studies.

Keyword
Stress measurement, psychometrics, psychological patterns, adolescents, stress assessment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12414 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2009.00803.x (DOI)000277628500003 ()
Available from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-05Bibliographically approved
2. Leisure time physical activity does not moderate the relationship between stress and psychological functioning in Norwegian adolescents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Leisure time physical activity does not moderate the relationship between stress and psychological functioning in Norwegian adolescents
2010 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12412 (URN)10.1016/j.mhpa.2009.12.002 (DOI)
Note
The article is reprinted with kind permission from Elsevier, sciencedirect.comAvailable from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-05Bibliographically approved
3. The association between stress and emotional states in adolescents: The role of gender and self-esteem
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The association between stress and emotional states in adolescents: The role of gender and self-esteem
2010 (English)In: Personality and Individual Differences, ISSN 0191-8869, E-ISSN 1873-3549, Vol. 49, no 5, 430-435 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This cross-sectional study investigated gender differences on domains of stress, self-esteem and emotional states (depression and anxiety) as well as the association between stress, self-esteem and emotional states using a sample of Norwegian adolescents (N = 1508). The results showed that girls had significantly higher mean scores on all stress domains and on emotional states compared with boys. Conversely, boys scored significantly higher on self-esteem. The hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed a significant association between increasing stress related to peer pressure, home life, school performance and adult responsibility and higher levels of emotional states. Moreover, the associations between stress and emotional states were not moderated by gender. A strong, inverse association was found between self-esteem and emotional states. A weak moderation effect of self-esteem was found on the association between stress related to peer pressure, romantic relationships, school performance and emotional states. The identification of the potential protective role of self-esteem in relation to adolescents' emotional outcomes represents an important step toward developing preventive interventions for children and adolescents. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keyword
Youth stress domains, State depression, State anxiety, Self-esteem, Gender differences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12413 (URN)10.1016/j.paid.2010.04.012 (DOI)000280415700014 ()
Note
The article is reprinted with kind permission from Elsevier, sciencedirect.comAvailable from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-05Bibliographically approved
4. The association between stress, sense of coherence and subjective health complaints in adolescents: sense of coherence as a potential moderator
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The association between stress, sense of coherence and subjective health complaints in adolescents: sense of coherence as a potential moderator
2010 (English)In: Stress and Health, ISSN 1532-3005, E-ISSN 1532-2998, n/a-n/a p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract The present study investigated the association between domain-specific stress, sense of coherence (SOC) and subjective health complaints (SHC), as well as the possible moderation effect of SOC on the relationship between stress and SHC. The study is based on responses from 1183 adolescents 13–18 years old. The initial results showed that girls scored higher than boys on all stress domains and on SHC. Conversely, boys reported stronger SOC. Results from the hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed a significant association between increasing stress related to each of the stress domains of peer pressure, home life, school attendance, as well as to a higher level of SHC. SOC was inversely related to SHC. However, no moderation effect of SOC was found. The findings in the present study thus show that stress and SOC are separately associated with SHC. The results support the importance of improving coping efficacy with stress during adolescence. The results also give some preliminary support for the view that promoting salutogenic factors has positive implications in relation to subjective health in adolescents. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2010
Keyword
domain specific stress, youth, buffer, health complaints
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12415 (URN)10.1002/smi.1353 (DOI)
Note
The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com Available from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-05Bibliographically approved

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