This study was designed to provide a representative description of the mental health of youth accessing homelessness services in Canada. It is the most extensive survey in this area to date and is intended to inform the development of mental health and addiction service and policy for this marginalized population.
This study reports mental health-related data from the 2015 "Leaving Home" national youth homelessness survey, which was administered through 57 agencies serving homeless youth in 42 communities across the country. This self-reported, point-in-time survey assessed a broad range of demographic information, pre-homelessness and homelessness variables, and mental health indicators.
Survey data were obtained from 1103 youth accessing Canadian homelessness services in the Nunavut territory and all Canadian provinces except for Prince Edward Island. Forty-two per cent of participants reported 1 or more suicide attempts, 85.4% fell in a high range of psychological distress, and key indicators of risk included an earlier age of the first episode of homelessness, female gender, and identifying as a sexual and/or gender minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and 2 spirit [LGBTQ2S]).
This study provides clear and compelling evidence of a need for mental health support for these youth, particularly LGBTQ2S youth and female youth. The mental health concerns observed here, however, must be considered in the light of the tremendous adversity in all social determinants faced by these youth, with population-level interventions best leveraged in prevention and rapid response.
Cites: Lancet. 1998 Aug 29;352(9129):743 PMID 9729028
Aging is associated with deterioration in health and well-being, but previous research suggests that this can be attenuated by maintaining group memberships and the valued social identities associated with them. In this regard, religious identification may be especially beneficial in helping individuals withstand the challenges of aging, partly because religious identity serves as a basis for a wider social network of other group memberships. This paper aims to examine relationships between religion (identification and group membership) and well-being among older adults. The contribution of having and maintaining multiple group memberships in mediating these relationships is assessed, and also compared to patterns associated with other group memberships (social and exercise).
Study 1 (N = 42) surveyed older adults living in residential care homes in Canada, who completed measures of religious identity, other group memberships, and depression. Study 2 (N = 7021) longitudinally assessed older adults in the UK on similar measures, but with the addition of perceived physical health.
In Study 1, religious identification was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, and membership in multiple groups mediated that relationship. However, no relationships between social or exercise groups and mental health were evident. Study 2 replicated these patterns, but additionally, maintaining multiple group memberships over time partially mediated the relationship between religious group membership and physical health.
Together these findings suggest that religious social networks are an especially valuable source of social capital among older adults, supporting well-being directly and by promoting additional group memberships (including those that are non-religious).
There are inherent methodological challenges in the measurement of mental health problems in longitudinal research. There is constant development in definitions, taxonomies and demands concerning the properties of mental health measurements. The aim of this paper was to construct composite measures of mental health problems (according to today's standard) from single questionnaire items devised in the early 1980s, and to evaluate their internal consistency and factorial invariance across the life course using the Northern Swedish Cohort.
All pupils in the last year of compulsory school in Luleå in 1981 (n?=?1083) form a prospective cohort study where the participants have been followed with questionnaires from the age of 16 (in 1981) until the age of 43 (in 2008). We created and tested the following composite measures from self-reports at each follow-up: depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, functional somatic symptoms, modified GHQ and positive health. Validity and internal consistency were tested by confirmatory factor analysis, including tests of factorial invariance over time.
As an overall assessment, the results showed that the composite measures (based on more than 30-year-old single item questions) are likely to have acceptable factorial invariance as well as internal consistency over time.
Testing the properties of the mental health measures used in older studies according to the standards of today is of great importance in longitudinal research. Our study demonstrates that composite measures of mental health problems can be constructed from single items which are more than 30 years old and that these measures seem to have the same factorial structure and internal consistency across a significant part of the life course. Thus, it can be possible to overcome some specific inherent methodological challenges in using historical data in longitudinal research.
The health benefits of exercise participation and physical activity for mental health and psychosocial well-being (PSWB) have been shown in several studies. However, one important background factor, that is, motor skills (MSs), has largely been ignored. In addition, most of the existing research focuses on poor MSs, that is, poor MSs are often connected to poorer PSWB. The mechanism linking MSs and PSWB is unclear. However, a preliminary suggestion has been made that self-worth or self-perceptions might mediate the association between MSs and PSWB.
We investigated whether the self-concepts (SCs) of school-related physical education (SCPE), reading (SCR), and mathematics (SCM) mediate the relationship between MSs and PSWB in adolescence.
The study sample consisted of a second-grade female cohort (N = 327), ranging in age between 12 and 16 (years) in a municipality in Central Finland. PSWB was measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the school-related SCs by the SC of ability scale adapted for use in Finland. MSs was assessed by a self-reported adolescent version of the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire. Structural mediator modelling was used to test the associations between MSs and PSWB with SC as a mediator.
First, MSs was strongly associated with school-related SCPE and SCM. However, a mediator role was observed only for SCPE, which weakly mediated peer problems. Second, MSs and PSWB, especially conduct problems, showed a very strong direct association.
The study suggests that MSs is connected to PSWB in adolescent girls. Enhancement of MSs could be a preventive strategy for supporting PSWB in adolescent girls.
There are presently few international studies that examine adolescents' own experience of both triggering and the underlying reasons behind their suicide attempts.
To present the rates, triggering factors, and underlying reasons for such behavior.
The 23-year (1984-2006) surveillance study reported includes all general hospital-treated suicide attempters aged between 13 and 19 years (n = 254) living in the municipality of Bærum, a suburb on the outskirts of Oslo, Norway.
Suicide attempt rates for both sexes decreased during the period of study. The female suicide attempt rate was on average 3.5 times higher than the male rate. An average of 8.2% of the suicide attempters made a repeat attempt within the following year. Overall, the most commonly reported trigger was a relational conflict (50.2%), and the most commonly reported underlying reason was a dysfunctional family situation (43.6%), followed by mental health problems (22.8%). The main gender difference for both triggers and underlying reasons was that relational conflicts were reported significantly more often by girls than by boys as triggers (55.0% versus 32.7%), and dysfunctional family issues were reported significantly more often by girls than by boys (47.1% versus 30.8%) as underlying reasons for the attempt. Mental health problems were reported less frequently as an underlying reason by girls than boys (21.2% versus 28.8%).
A family-oriented intervention embracing the extended family system seems warranted in a majority of the cases in our study.
Mental health problems among adolescents have become a major public health issue, and it is therefore important to increase knowledge on the contextual determinants of adolescent mental health. One such determinant is the socioeconomic structure of the neighbourhood. The present study has two central objectives, (i) to examine if neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation is associated to individual variations in utilisation of psychiatric care in a Swedish context, and (ii) to investigate if neighbourhood boundaries are a valid construct for identifying contexts that influence individual variations in psychiatric care utilization. Data were obtained from the Longitudinal Multilevel Analysis in Scania (LOMAS) database. The study population consists of all boys and girls aged 13-18 years (N=18,417), who were living in the city of Malmö, Sweden, in 2005. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate the probability of psychiatric care utilisation. The results from the study indicate that the neighbourhood of residence had little influence on psychiatric care utilisation. Although we initially found a variation between neighbourhoods, this general contextual effect was very small (i.e. 1.6%). The initial conclusive association between the neighbourhood level of disadvantage and psychiatric care utilisation (specific contextual effect) disappeared following adjustment for individual and family level variables. Our results suggest the neighbourhoods in Malmö (at least measured in terms of SAMS-areas), do not provide accurate information for discriminating adolescents utilisation of psychiatric care. The SAMS-areas appears to be an inappropriate construct of the social environment that influences adolescent utilisation of psychiatric care. Therefore, public health interventions should be directed to the whole city rather than to specific neighbourhoods. However, since geographical, social or cultural contexts may be important for our understanding of adolescent mental health further research is needed to identify such contexts.
Cites: J Epidemiol Community Health. 2009 Dec;63(12):1043-819666637
The long-term consequence of experiencing mental health problems may lead to several adverse outcomes. The current study aims to validate previous identified trajectories of mental health problems from 1993 to 2006 in women by examining their implications on subsequent work and family-related outcomes in 2011.
Employed women (n?=?439) with children were drawn from the Tracking Opportunities and Problems-Study (TOPP), a community-based longitudinal study following Norwegian families across 18 years. Previous identified latent profiles of mental health trajectories (i.e., High; Moderate; Low-rising and Low levels of mental health problems over time) measured at six time points between 1993 and 2006 were examined as predictors of burnout (e.g., exhaustion and disengagement from work) and work-family conflict in 2011 in univariate and multivariate analyses of variance adjusted for potential confounders (age, job demands, and negative emotionality).
We found that having consistently High and Moderate symptoms as well as Low-Rising symptoms from 1993 to 2006 predicted higher levels of exhaustion, disengagement from work and work-family conflict in 2011. Findings remained unchanged when adjusting for several potential confounders, but when adjusting for current mental health problems only levels of exhaustion were predicted by the mental health trajectories.
The study expands upon previous studies on the field by using a longer time span and by focusing on employed women with children who experience different patterns of mental health trajectories. The long-term effect of these trajectories highlight and validate the importance of early identification and prevention in women experiencing adverse patterns of mental health problems with regards to subsequent work and family-related outcomes.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore whether young adults who had a parent in prison while growing up in Sweden are disadvantaged in terms of parental support, school well-being and functioning, and socioemotional and/or behavioral problems, compared to young adults whose parents were not in prison when they were a child. Design/methodology/approach Retrospective self-report information about parental imprisonment and childhood and adulthood welfare was collected from 2,500 Swedish young adults as part of the RESUME project. Of these, 52 who had had a parent in prison during their childhood were compared to the young adults who had not had a parent in prison, by measuring differences concerning their family relations, school well-being, and well-being as adults, and the risk of some events occurring later in life. Findings Having had a parent in prison was significantly related to feeling less loved during childhood, and having less contact and support from both parents during adulthood, in comparison with other young adults. In school they experienced lower well-being and were more often placed in special education than other children. They were at greater risk of not attending higher education, of planning or attempting suicide, and of being hospitalized for mental health problems than the rest of the young adults. Research limitations/implications Taking into consideration the complexity of childhood conditions and the limitations of retrospective data, prison, and social-services, professionals should pay special attention to the fact that a child has a parent in prison. Originality/value This is a unique study of young adults' experiences of a childhood with parent in prison.
Women report more psychological distress than men and recent evidence suggests that this gap increases with age. It has been argued that the widening differential in distress reflects the progressive and cumulative nature of women's disadvantaged work and family roles. Drawing on the cumulative disadvantage hypothesis and social stress theory, we test: (1) whether exposure to chronic stress accounts for an increasingly larger proportion of the gender effect on distress with age; and (2) whether women are increasingly more vulnerable to the effects of chronic stress on distress with age. Data are from the 1994 wave of the Canadian National Population Health Survey, a national probability sample of women and men aged 20 and older (N = 13,798). Exposure to long-term stress helps us understand gender differences in distress for those in their pre-retirement years. However, contrary to the cumulative disadvantage hypothesis, the model became increasingly less likely to explain such differences with age. Gendered vulnerability to long-term stress was not evident in the sample. The implications of these findings are discussed with particular reference to our ongoing efforts to understand health in the context of social structure and subjectivity.
The first purpose of this study was to compare the psychosocial working conditions and mental health of our sample of maritime engine officers with a sample of British shore-based professional engineers. The second purpose was to analyse the relationship between the psychosocial working conditions onboard and mental strain for the Swedish maritime engine officers.
There were a total of 731 engine officers in the Swedish merchant fleet, almost all males with higher education. The British comparison sample consisted of 312 professional shore-based engineers. A questionnaire was distributed to the Swedish engine officers with a modified version of the JCQ for the DC-S model, the Role conflict and Ambiguity scale, and two items on family-work inter-role conflicts (WFI/FWI), as workload indicators. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS10) were used as strain indicators.
There were no significant differences in perceived job stain or in WFI/FWI between the Swedish engine officers and the British professional engineers in perceived job strain. While the British shore-based engineers reported significantly higher role ambiguity the Swedish engine officers perceived a significantly higher degree of role conflict and higher perceived stress. Hierarchic linear regression analysis showed that the Role Stress was strongly related to perceived stress (R(2) = 0.319) as well as to mental health (R(2) = 0.222). When introduced in the second step the DC-S model was significantly related to the outcome measures, as was WFI/FWI when finally introduced.
The main source of the high degree of perceived stress among the engine officers does not seem to be the job content but may rather be understood from an interactional perspective, where conflicting requirements are directed towards the individual officer. It can be assumed that the fast technological and organizational changes and the increased pressure for economic profitability that characterize the shipping industry have attenuated these role conflicts.