The objective was to investigate the relationship between possible disaster stressors and subsequent health problems among tourists experiencing the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami. A cross-sectional study was performed as a postal survey concerning the experiences of the disaster exposure in retrospect and the presence of psychological symptoms (GHQ-28) in Norwegian tsunami victims 6 months post disaster. The strongest predictors of health complaints were danger of death, witness impressions, and bereavements. Aggravated outcomes were also seen in those who helped others in the acute phase or had sole responsibility for children when the tsunami struck. Having a family member or close friend who was injured was reversely associated with health problems. Women reported more psychological distress than men, but the difference disappeared with increasing degree of danger exposure. Dose-response relationships to psychological distress were found for single exposure factors as well as for the cumulative effects of being exposed to several exposure variables.
Present-day society has produced changes in family living patterns and conditions and this has resulted in new stressors and health problems. Most children and adolescents with chronic diseases and disabilities, who were previously cared for at hospitals and institutions for long periods, are now integrated in society and they are expected to live a normal life in the conditions that currently prevail. The number of young people with long-term illnesses/disability has increased worldwide during the last decades. There is lack of studies relating to the way young people regard their daily lives and factors that are important for their well-being. The aim of this study was to describe the meaning of feeling good in daily life in adolescents living with a long-term illness or disability. Eight boys and seven girls, aged between 12 and 19 years, with different conditions of long-term illness or disability, participated in the study. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted between the years 2003-2004 and the data were analysed using content analysis. The results revealed that the adolescents with long-term illness generally experienced well-being like everybody else. Three themes were found to be important in order to feel good: 'a feeling of acceptance of illness/disability as a natural part of life', 'a feeling of support' and 'a feeling of personal growth'. This study concludes that adolescents with long-term illness or disabilities experience well-being when they are allowed to prepare for living a normal life integrated in society.
OBJECTIVES: We examined the extent to which adolescents in Norway have been exposed to tobacco marketing despite an existing ban, and whether exposure is related to their current smoking or expectations they will smoke in the future. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to nationally representative systematic samples of Norwegian youths aged 13 to 15 years in 1990 (n = 4282) and 1995 (n = 4065). RESULTS: About half in each cohort reported exposure to marketing. Youths reporting exposure were significantly more likely to be current smokers and to expect to be smokers at 20 years of age, after control for important social influence predictors. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents' current smoking and future smoking expectations are linked to marketing exposure even in limited settings, suggesting the need for comprehensive controls to eliminate the function of marketing in promoting adolescent smoking.
This study investigated the role of friendships and social acceptance in self-perceptions of appearance and depressive symptoms, comparing adolescents with and without a facial difference. Adolescents with a visible cleft (n=196) were compared with adolescents with a non-visible cleft (n=93), and with a comparison group (n=1832). Boys with a visible difference reported significantly more positive perceptions of friendships and less depressive symptoms than the comparison group. These results were interpreted in the context of indicators of emotional resilience. The objective measure of facial difference did not explain levels of depressive symptoms, while subjective measures did. Subjective ratings of appearance mediated the association between social acceptance and depressive symptoms in all samples. Gender did not contribute in explaining the paths between friendships, appearance, and depressive symptoms. The associations between perceptions of social acceptance, appearance, and emotional distress, support the possible utility of strengthening social experiences in preventing and treating appearance-concerns.
The purpose of this study was to describe the aging experiences of women with schizophrenia. The research focused on how participants viewed their own aging with schizophrenia, their perceived worries and concerns and how they were coping with aging with the disorder. Using a qualitative approach, data were collected using multiple in-depth interviews with six participants selected purposefully from the client list of a community mental health center. Interview transcriptions were coded and analyzed according to the study questions using QSR Nudist 4 software. Several categories and sub-categories emerged. These included the improvement in the illness over time; physical and daily living activity limitations; specific positive and negative changes that the women report have accompanied aging; the profound losses experienced by the participants when they were younger as a result of having schizophrenia; and how these losses have affected their present lives in terms of limiting available informal support, creating dependency on formal programs and services, and participants' fears of the future. Based on the study findings, implications for mental health practice and services are considered and suggestions are made to guide future research.
Alcohol use is common among adolescents, but its association with behavioural and emotional problems is not well understood. This study aimed to investigate how self-reported psychosocial problems were associated with the use of alcohol in a community sample consisting of 4074 Finnish adolescents aged 13-18 years. Aggressive behaviour associated with alcohol use and a high level of alcohol consumption, while internalizing problems did not associate with alcohol use. Having problems in social relationships associated with abstinence and lower alcohol consumption. Tobacco smoking, early menarche and attention problems also associated with alcohol use.
Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with difficulties in identifying feelings, difficulties in describing feelings to other people, constricted imaginal processes, and an externally oriented cognitive style. It has been found to be associated with personality features that may cause interpersonally avoidant behavior and other interpersonal problems. The present study explored, in a sample of primary care patients (N = 491), whether alexithymia is associated with mobile phone usage, and whether the perceived quality and quantity of human relationships mediate its effect. Even controlling for sociodemographic variables and symptoms of depression, mania and psychoses, alexithymia, measured by the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, was associated with less frequent mobile phone use. Not having enough relationships or a close friend, and relationships being less satisfactory mediated the effect of alexithymia on less frequent mobile phone use. The results support the findings of earlier studies that have linked interpersonal problems with alexithymia.
Stem cell transplantation is one of the treatment methods for cancer in children and adolescents which has resulted in a positive outcome. Unfortunately this method of treatment brings with it a number of late effects such as short stature, cognitive effects and infertility. However, a majority of children and adolescents experience a good quality of life. By examining their medical records this study has gained a deeper understanding of the situation for the minority of young people who describe themselves as suffering severe mental distress which they relate to their illness and treatment. The population comprised seven adolescents who sought psychotherapeutic support several years after treatment. They describe how they are affected by the feeling of being different, the loss of contact with friends and their dependence on parents. The study points to the need for long-term psychosocial support for children and adolescents who have undergone stem cell transplantation.
The study presented in this paper is part of a larger Norwegian investigation among adolescents, where the overall aim is to develop methods to promote their quality of life (QoL), to discover risk factors or threats to adolescents' well-being, and finally to prevent the negative effects of such factors. An adequate generic health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) measure is therefore needed. However, only a limited number of well validated instruments that measure HR-QoL in adolescents exist, and to date only a few has been translated into Norwegian. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine some psychometric properties of the first Norwegian version of a simple, generic, German HR-QoL questionnaire for adolescents, KINDL. The instrument consists of 24-items, distributed in six subscales, which correspond to six domains of adolescents' HR-QoL. Based on a sample of 239 healthy adolescents, the internal consistency reliability is satisfactory for both the total scale and the subscales of 'Self-esteem and Family', fairly good for the 'Emotional' subscale, but lower for the subscales 'Physical', 'Friends' and 'School'. Factor analyses, which concerns construct validity, yielded interpretable solutions. The factor solutions at item level were interpreted to be in line with the original subscales, while factor analysis at subscale level indicated that a common QoL core is involved. To conclude, the Norwegian version of KINDL appears, in general, to be a psychometrically acceptable method of measuring HR-QoL in healthy adolescents. However, the alpha-values of some of the subscales are not optimal, and these scales should be used with caution in research and profession. Still KINDL-N is considered suitable for screening purposes in the public health area and especially within school-health care.
The present study characterized the associations of three sex life issues (importance of, satisfaction with, and ease in talking about sex life) with social support and reciprocity. We utilised survey data of working-aged men and women (n = 21,101) from the population-based random sample of the Health and Social Support (HeSSup) Study (40% response). The respondents with abundant social support considered sex life important, were satisfied with it, and found it easy to talk about sex life more often than those with less social support. Social support in sex life offered by one's own spouse/partner was important particularly to women, not available from the other sources to the same extent. Friends functioned as significant positive sources of support in sex life particularly among women, but relatives did not. Mutual reciprocity was associated with favourable perceptions of sex life. Persons lacking established primary social support should have easy access to services.