Parental divorce in late adolescence does not seem to increase mental health problems: a population study from NorwayReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 13:413

Health behavior, health promotion and society


BackgroundFormer studies have shown increased mental health problems in adolescents after parental divorce all over the Western world. We wanted to see if that still is the case in Norway today when divorce turns to be more and more common.

MethodsIn a prospective study design, two samples were constituted, adolescents at a baseline survey in 2001-02 n = 2422 and those at follow-up in 2003-04 n = 1861, when the adolescents were 15-16 and 18-19 years-old, respectively. They answered self-administered questionnaires in both surveys of Young-HUBRO in Oslo. Early parental divorce was defined as that which occured before age 15-16 years, and late divorce occured between age 15-16 and 18-19. Internalized and externalized mental health problems were measured by the Hopkin’s Symptom Check List HSCL-10 and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire SDQ.

ResultsAfter linear regression models were adjusted for gender, ethnicity, family economy, social support, and mental health problem symptoms measured at baseline before parental divorce occured, late parental divorce did not lead to significant increase in mental health problems among adolescents in the city of Oslo. Early parental divorce was associated with internal mental health problems among young adolescents when adjusted only for the first four possible confounders.

ConclusionsIt seems that parental divorce in late adolescence does not lead to mental health problems in Norway any more, as has been shown before, while such problems may prevail among young adolescents. This does not mean that parental divorce create less problems in late adolescence than before but these youths might have developed adjustment abilities against health effects as divorce have turned to be more common.

KeywordsHSCL SDQ Adolescents Internalized and externalized mental health problems Mental distress Parental divorce  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Henok Zeratsion - Madeleine Dalsklev - Espen Bjertness - Lars Lien - Ole R Haavet - Jon A Halvorsen - Cecilie B Bjertnes


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