A considerable gap exists in regard to longitudinal research on quality of life (QoL) in community populations of children and adolescents. Changes and stability of QoL have been poorly examined, despite the fact that children and adolescents undergo profound developmental changes. The aims of the study were to investigate short-term changes in student QoL with regard to sex and age in a school-based sample.
A representative Norwegian sample of 1,821 school children, aged 8-16 years and their parents were tested at baseline and 6 months later, using the Inventory of Life Quality for Children and Adolescents (ILC) and the Kinder Lebensqualität Fragebogen (KINDL). Student response rate at baseline was 71.2% and attrition over the follow-up period was 4.6%, and 1,336 parents (70%) completed the follow-up. Change scores between baseline and follow-up evaluations were analysed by means of ANCOVA in regard to sex and age effects.
Students in the 8th grade reported a decrease in QoL over the six-month follow-up period as compared to those in the 6th grade with regard to Family and School domains and total QoL on the KINDL. For emotional well-being a significant linear decrease in QoL across grades 6th to 10th was observed. However, student ratings on the Friends and Self-esteem domains did not change significantly by age. Girls reported a higher decrease in their QoL across all grades over the follow-up period than did boys in respect of Self-esteem on the KINDL, and an age-related decrease in total QoL between 6th and 8th grade on the ILC. Parent reports of changes in child QoL were nonsignificant on most of the domains.
The observed age and sex-related changes in school children's QoL across the six-month follow-up period should be considered in epidemiological as well as clinical research.
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, St. Olavs Hospital, Pb 6810 Elgeseter, 7433 Trondheim, Norway; Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Faculty of Medicine, RKBU Central Norway, Pb 8905 MTFS, 7491 Trondheim, Norway. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Childhood maltreatment is known to be associated with a broad variety of psychopathology and deteriorated well-being in adolescent populations. In the present nationwide study, we aimed to explore global self-esteem, attachment difficulties and substance use as possible mediators of these associations in a high-risk adolescent population. We included 400 adolescents (aged 12-20 years) living in residential youth care in Norway (response rate 67%). The participants completed a semistructured psychiatric interview (Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA)), a study-specific questionnaire, a revised version of the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA) and the Questionnaire for Measuring Health-related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents (KINDL-R). Information was also provided by the adolescent's primary contact at the institution. Two models were tested using structural equation modelling; one assessed the association between childhood maltreatment and psychopathology, and one assessed the association between childhood maltreatment and well-being. Childhood maltreatment, psychopathology, well-being, global self-esteem and attachment difficulties were treated as latent variables, and substance use was added as an observed variable. The results of this study showed that global self-esteem was a mediator of paths in both models, whereas attachment difficulties and substance use were not. Preventing decline in health and well-being in high-risk adolescents is a main goal, and this study suggests that improving self-esteem, in addition to providing psychiatric health services, could be an important tool for achieving this goal.
Childhood maltreatment is an important risk factor for mental and physical health problems. Adolescents living in residential youth care (RYC) have experienced a high rate of childhood maltreatment and are a high-risk group for psychiatric disorders. Quality of life (QoL) is a subjective, multidimensional concept that goes beyond medical diagnoses. There is a lack of research regarding the associations between childhood maltreatment and QoL. In the present study, we compare self-reported QoL between adolescents in RYC in Norway with and without maltreatment histories, and adolescents from the general population. We also study the impact of number of types of adversities on QoL.
Adolescents aged 12-23 years living in RYC in Norway were invited to participate in the study; 400 participated, yielding a response rate of 67 %. Maltreatment histories were assessed through interviews with trained research assistants, and completed by 335 adolescents. Previous exposure to maltreatment was reported by 237 adolescents. The Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents (KINDL-R) was used. Nonexposed peers in RYC (n?=?98) and a sample of adolescents from the general population (n?=?1017) were used for comparison. General linear model analyses (ANCOVA) were conducted with five KINDL-R life domains as dependent variables. Linear regression was used to study the effect of number of types of adversities.
Exposed adolescents in RYC reported poorer QoL than peers in control groups. Compared with nonexposed peers in RYC, the 95 % confidence intervals for mean score differences on the KINDL-R subdomains (0-100 scale) were 1.9-11.4 (Physical Well-being), 2.2-11.1 (Emotional Well-being), -0.7-10.0 (Self-esteem), and 1.8-10.9 (Friends). Compared with the general population sample, the 95 % confidence intervals for mean score differences were 9.7-17.6 (Physical Well-being), 7.9-15.3 (Emotional Well-being), 3.6-12.5 (Self-esteem), and 5.3-12.8 (Friends). Number of types of adversities was associated with a poorer QoL score on all subdomains (Physical- and Emotional Well-being, Self-esteem, Friends, and School).
Childhood maltreatment was associated with a poorer QoL score. We suggest the use of QoL and maltreatment measures for all children and adolescents in RYC.
Previous studies from Nordic countries suggest that parent ratings of children's emotional and behavioural problems using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) are among the lowest in the world. However, there has been no Norwegian population study with acceptable response rates to provide valid Norwegian reference data.
Firstly, to compare CBCL Internalizing, Externalizing, Total Problems and Competence scores of Norwegian children and adolescents with those from 1) previous Norwegian studies, 2) other Nordic countries, and 3) international data. Secondly, to present Norwegian reference data in order to perform these comparisons. Thirdly, to investigate the effects of age, gender, socio-economic and urban/rural status on the CBCL.
A stratified cluster sample of 2582 school children (1302 girls and 1280 boys) was identified from the general Norwegian population and their parents were asked to complete the CBCL.
The response rate was 65.5%. The mean Total Problems score for the whole sample was 14.2 (standard deviation, s = 14.1). Girls were rated as having greater Competence and fewer Total Problems than boys. Younger children had more Total Problems than adolescents. Parents with low education reported more child Total Problems and lower Competence than those with high education. All effect sizes were small, except for the effect of parental education on child Competence, which was moderate.
Total Problems scores were lower than in other societies. The data from this study obtained from one county in central Norway provide an important reference for clinical practice and treatment outcome research.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression are significantly associated in parents and children, but few studies have examined associations between recurrent parental problems and offspring symptoms, and fathers have rarely been included in these studies. Additionally, few have investigated factors that may protect against familial aggregation of anxiety and depression. The aims of the present study are to examine the associations between recurrent parental anxiety/depression over a ten-year time span and offspring anxiety/depression in adolescence and to test whether two factors proposed to be inversely related to anxiety and depression, namely, adolescent self-esteem and physical activity, may moderate and mediate the transmission of anxiety/depression.
This study used data from two waves of a Norwegian community study (the HUNT study) consisting of 5,732 adolescents, ages 13-18, (mean age = 15.8, 50.3% girls) who had one (N = 1,761 mothers; N = 742 fathers) or both parents (N = 3,229) participating in the second wave. In the first wave, 78% of the parents also participated. The adolescents completed self-reported questionnaires on self-esteem, physical activity, and symptoms of anxiety/depression, whereas parents reported on their own anxiety/depressive symptoms. The data were analysed with structural equation modeling.
The presence of parental anxiety/depression when offspring were of a preschool age predicted offspring anxiety/depression when they reached adolescence, but these associations were entirely mediated by current parental symptoms. Self-esteem partly mediated the associations between anxiety/depression in parents and offspring. No sex differences were found. Physical activity moderated the direct associations between anxiety/depression in mothers and offspring, whereas no moderating effect was evident with regard to paternal anxiety/depression.
These findings suggest that children of parents with anxiety/depression problems are at a sustained risk for mental health problems due to the apparent 10-year stability of both maternal and paternal anxiety/depression. Thus, preventing familial aggregation of these problems as early as possible seems vital. The associations between parental and offspring anxiety/depression were partially mediated by offspring self-esteem and were moderated by physical activity. Hence, prevention and treatment efforts could be aimed at increasing self-esteem and encouraging physical activity in vulnerable children of parents with anxiety/depression.
Cites: Public Health Nutr. 1999 Sep;2(3A):411-810610081
Adverse childhood experiences in sensitive periods of the developing brain render the individual at a life-long risk for a broad spectrum of aberrant health outcomes. However, there is a lack of scales for the comprehensive assessment of adverse childhood experiences providing information of various types and the age of occurrence. Based on the complete, experimental version of the Maltreatment and abuse chronology of exposure (MACE-X) scale, the present study aimed to develop and psychometrically test a Norwegian version of MACE.
The 75-item MACE-X was translated from German to Norwegian and administered as a self-report measure to 90 outpatients and 145 employees at a Division of specialized mental health care in South-Eastern Norway. The outpatients also completed the Childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) and the Symptom checklist 90 (SCL-90) to investigate convergent and predictive validity. To investigate test-retest reliability, outpatients completed MACE once more two weeks later.
Rasch analysis and Anderson likelihood ratio tests on the combined outpatient and employee data resulted in a 55 item version of the Norwegian MACE. In the outpatient group, test-retest reliability of the MACE-55 was excellent for total scores (ICC = 0.94) and good to excellent for 10 subscale scores (ICC = 0.82). Convergent validity with the CTQ was moderate to high for both total scores (0.63 = r = 0.86) and subscale scores (0.56 = r = 0.82). As compared to CTQ total scores, a MACE total score that combined severity and duration of exposure was numerically more strongly associated with overall psychiatric symptoms and each of nine symptom domains on the SCL-90.
The newly developed Norwegian MACE comprehensively assesses past exposure to adverse childhood experiences with high psychometric properties. This scale is a useful tool for research questions addressing sensitive periods for childhood adversities and associated health phenotypes.
The aim of the study was to investigate whether perceived family functioning of adolescent is moderating or mediating the longitudinal association of adolescent internalizing and externalizing psychopathology with quality of life (QoL) after 6 months in the general population.
Using a cluster sampling technique in one Norwegian county 1331, 10- to 16-year-old students were included in the study (51 % girls). Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist for the assessment of adolescent psychopathology at Time 1. The students completed the General Functioning Scale of the McMaster Family Assessment Device and the Inventory of Life Quality in Children and Adolescents at time 2 6 months later. Psychopathology, family functioning and QoL were treated as latent variables in a structural equation model adjusted for sex, age and parent education.
The regression coefficients for paths from psychopathology decreased (ß = .199 for the internalizing and ß = .102 for the externalizing model) in each case when including the indirect path via family functioning compared with the direct path from psychopathology to QoL. The sum of indirect effects on QoL via family functioning was significant for internalizing ß = 0.093 (95 % CI 0.054-0.133) and externalizing ß = 0.119 (95 % CI 0.076-0.162) psychopathology.
Family functioning significantly mediated the longitudinal association between psychopathology and QoL. Because the family remains an important social domain for adolescents, it must be an important consideration when attempting to reduce or alleviate psychopathology in youth and improve the quality of their life experience throughout this period.
To identify sociodemographic, child, parent, and day care provider factors at age 4 that predict Norwegian children's service use for mental health problems at age 7.
Two birth cohorts of 4-year-old children and their parents living in the city of Trondheim, Norway, were invited (82% consented). We successfully interviewed 995 parents among 1250 drawn to participate using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment to set diagnoses and record parental burden and service use. Information concerning sociodemographics, child impairment, parental social support, and child need for mental health services according to parents, day care teacher, and health nurse were obtained.
Rate of service use among those with a behavioral or emotional disorder was 10.7% at age 4 and 25.2% at age 7. Behavioral disorders (odds ratio [OR] 2.6, confidence interval [CI] 1.3-5.3), but not emotional disorders, predicted service use. When adjusted for incapacity (OR 1.3, CI 1.2-1.6), disorders were no longer predictive. Incapacity, in turn, was not predictive once parental burden (OR 1.1, CI 1.0-1.1) and parents' (OR 2.7, CI 1.0-7.9) and day care teachers' (OR 2.1, CI 1.4-3.2) judgment of child need of help were included. Lower socioeconomic status predicted more service use over and beyond these factors (OR 3.0, CI 1.5-6.1).
Behavioral disorders may instigate service use if they result in impairment, and such impairment may operate via increased parental burden and parent and caregiver problem recognition. Service use may be increased through effective screening programs and efforts to increase day care teachers' recognition of emotional problems.
Child and adolescent mental health specialized services (CAMHS) are supposed to serve those who are most seriously disturbed and impaired. However, little is known about how children receiving treatment at different levels of care differ. The present study seeks to determine whether having a psychiatric disorder and resulting impairment measured in early childhood increases the odds of receiving help in CAMHS versus from community services during middle childhood or whether other factors (e.g., parenting stress, family functioning) also influence service utilization. A screen-stratified sample (n?=?995 of the 2003-2004 birth cohorts) in Trondheim, Norway was assessed biennially from age 4-12 with semi-structured diagnostic interviews and recording of service use, family functioning, parental perceived need, and parenting stress. Behavioral disorders more strongly predicted CAMHS than community service use, whereas impairment predicted community service use. However, impairment increased the odds of receiving services in CAMHS if the parents perceived a need for help. Parental perceived need for help also increased the odds of CAMHS use independent of diagnosis and impairment. Having an emotional disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), parenting stress, previous service use, or family functioning did not predict service use at either level. Whereas children with behavioral disorders received help from CAMHS, children with emotional disorders did not receive services at either level. ADHD did not predict service use, indicating that young children with ADHD without comorbid disorders are not sufficiently detected. Efforts to detect, refer and treat emotional disorders and ADHD at the appropriate level should be increased.
Most adolescents are placed in residential youth care (RYC) because of severe psychosocial strains and child maltreatment, which represent risk factors for developing mental disorders. To plan RYC units and ensure that residents receive evidence-based psychiatric interventions, it is necessary to obtain reliable and valid prevalence estimates of mental disorders in this population. However, there is a lacuna of research on diagnoses derived from standardized clinical interviews. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and comorbidity of mental disorders applying diagnostic interviews in an entire population of adolescents living in RYC in Norway. All young people in RYC were invited to participate in the study. Eighty-six RYC institutions with 601 eligible adolescents were included and 400 adolescents, 12-20 years old, participated in the study, yielding a response rate of 67 %. Anonymous Child Behaviour Checklist scores for 141 (70 %) of the declining residents were also available, allowing diagnoses according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) for 541 youths to be estimated. Diagnoses were assessed by trained interviewers with the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment interview (CAPA). Seventy-six point two per cent (71.5-80.8 CI 95 %) of adolescents received at least one 3-month DSM-IV diagnosis. Prevalence rates for internalizing psychiatric disorders were higher than for behavioural disorders. Comorbidity was high between these two groups. Mental disorders were prevalent among children and youth in RYC. Our results create major concerns and challenge the existing organization of the RYC system.