Monday, 2 December 2019
Title of publication
Trends in sleeping difficulty among adolescents in five Nordic countries 2002-2014
AbstractSleep has been found to be an important factor in adolescents’ mental and physical health. The aim of the present study was to examine trends in sleep difficulty (i.e., difficulty falling asleep more often than once a week) in the Nordic countries among 11- to 15-year-olds. We analysed Nordic data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (HBSC), which is conducted every four years, looking specifically at trends in sleep difficulty over a 12-year period from 2002 to 2014. The participants were aged 11 to 15 years. The total number of participants across these years was 113,447. A large percentage (17% to 31% in 2014) of adolescents in the Nordic countries experience sleep difficulty, and these difficulties increased from 2002 to 2014 in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden. Only in Norway was there a decrease, mainly due to a reduction in sleep difficulty among 11-year-old boys and girls from 2010 to 2014. Sleep difficulty among boys and girls are prevalent and generally on the rise in the Nordic countries with the exception of Norway.
CiteThorsteinsson, E. B., Potrebny, T., Arnarsson, Á. M., Tynjälä, J., Välimaa, R., & Eriksson, C. (2019). Trends in sleeping difficulty among adolescents in five Nordic countries 2002-2014. Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research, 4, 77-87. https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2464-4161-2019-02-05
Poor sleep quality is predicted by stress, anxiety, depression, and rumination with all of these factors contributing to fatigue
Title of publication
Modelling the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression on rumination, sleep, and fatigue in a nonclinical sample
AbstractBackground: Stress and affective distress (e.g., anxiety, depression) have previously been shown to predict sleep quality, and all the factors have been shown to predict fatigue severity. However, few prior studies have examined the likely indirect mediational relationships between stress, affective distress, and poor sleep quality in predicting fatigue severity, and the potential role played by ruminative thinking. Thus, the relationship between stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, rumination, and fatigue was modelled using Structural Equation Modelling. Method: A short questionnaire asked 229 participants about their recent experiences of stress, affective distress, rumination, sleep and fatigue in a community sample. Results: High stress, anxiety, and depression was related to more ruminative thinking, which in turn was related to poor sleep quality; and sleep quality predicted worse fatigue. Conclusion: Results suggest that rumination parsimoniously explains the tendency of stress and affective distress to contribute to poor sleep quality, and together with poor sleep, it may also contribute to worse fatigue in some individuals.
CiteThorsteinsson, E. B., Brown, R. F., & Owens, M. T. (2019). Modelling the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression on rumination, sleep, and fatigue in a nonclinical sample. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 207, 355-359. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0000000000000973
Title of publication
Schizophrenia literacy: The effects of an educational intervention on populations with and without prior health education
AbstractBackground: Mental health literacy is an important predictor of appropriate help-seeking behaviour. Aims: This study investigated (a) the effects of an educational intervention on schizophrenia mental health literacy, beliefs about causes, discrimination, treatment, and attitudes that promote recognition, and (b) whether schizophrenia literacy would be higher in people with prior education in a health-related area than people without such education. Method: A randomised control design tested the effects of an educational intervention on schizophrenia literacy relative to a control group. Participants (N = 260; mean age = 31.18 years, SD = 11.43, female = 78.8%) answered a mental health literacy questionnaire, based on a vignette of a person with schizophrenia, before and after watching either an educational video on schizophrenia or a control video. Results: The intervention significantly increased schizophrenia identification and literacy, reduced personal stigma, and increased perceived discrimination in society. The health background group reported significantly greater schizophrenia identification than the no health background group. Participants thought help should be sought from health care professionals and through psychotherapy, close friends and physical activity. Conclusions: Targeted education can significantly improve the ability to identify schizophrenia which may have positive implications for reducing the time individuals take to seek help.
CiteThorsteinsson, E. B., Bhullar, N., Williams, E., & Loi, N. M. (2019). Schizophrenia literacy: The effects of an educational intervention on populations with and without prior health education. Journal of Mental Health, 28, 229-237. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2018.1521923
Title of publication
Trends in perceived school stress among adolescents in five Nordic countries 2002-2014
AbstractAssociations between school-related stress and poor health, risk behaviours and low well-being are well documented. The aim of this paper was to estimate trends of perceived school stress experienced by boys and girls of different ages in the Nordic countries, and to describe trends in school stress between the Nordic countries. Nordic data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (HBSC) between 2002 and 2014 were used. The participants were aged 11–16 years. School stress was measured by a single item; “How pressured do you feel by schoolwork?” The participants answering “some” or “a lot” were categorised as reporting school stress. Sweden, Norway and Denmark had lower prevalence of school stress compared to Finland and Iceland. There was an increase in Iceland, Finland and Denmark, whereas adolescents from Sweden showed a decreasing trend. In Norway, the level was stable. Boys showed a marginal decline in school stress whereas girls showed an increase, and school stress increased by age for the whole period. It is a challenge for the public education systems in the Nordic countries to develop policies and practices that provide children with the necessary tools to achieve knowledge and skill, and at the same minimise stress in school.
CiteLöfstedt, P., Charli, E., Potrebny, T., Välimaa, R., Thorsteinsson, E. B., Due, P., Damsgaard, M. T., Suominen, S., Rasmussen, M., & Torsheim, T. (2019). Trends in perceived school stress among adolescents in five Nordic countries 2002-2014. Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research, 4, 101-112. https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2464-4161-2019-02-07
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Title of publication
Romantic attraction and substance use in 15-year-old adolescents from eight European countries
AbstractSexual minority youth are at higher risk of substance use than heterosexual youth. However, most evidence in this area is from North America, and it is unclear whether the findings can be generalized to other cultures and countries. In this investigation, we used data from the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study to compare substance use in same- and both-gender attracted 15-year-old adolescents from eight European countries ( = 14,545) to that of their peers who reported opposite-gender attraction or have not been romantically attracted to anyone. Both-gender attracted, and to a lesser extent, same-gender attracted adolescents were significantly more likely to smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, get drunk and use cannabis, or be involved in multiple substance use in the last 30 days compared to their opposite-gender attracted peers. Those adolescents who have not been in love had significantly lower odds for substance use than all other youth. The pattern of results remained the same after adjusting for country, gender and family affluence. These findings are compatible with the minority stress and romantic stress theories. They suggest that sexual minority stigma (and love on its own) may contribute to higher substance use among adolescents in European countries.
CiteKöltő, A., Cosma, A., Young, H., Moreau, N., Pavlova, D., Tesler, R., Thorsteinsson, E. B., Vieno, A., Saewyc, E. M., & Gabhainn, S. N. (2019). Romantic attraction and substance use in 15-year-old adolescents from eight European countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, Article 3063. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173063
Title of publication
Towards enhancing research on adolescent positive mental health
AbstractThe positive mental health and well-being perspective represents innovative public health research of first-rank priority in Europe. Good mental health is both a state and a resource for everyday life. Hence, the concept often refers to a subjective feeling (hedonic component) as well as positive functioning (eudaimonic component). Different conceptualisations of mental health-related issues are a background to this paper, which gives a brief overview of three research issues in the Nordic countries. First, the development in the occurrences of adolescent mental health-related indicators such as life satisfaction, health, sleep, and school pressure. Second, review of Nordic methodological studies reporting on different mental health-related measures. Third, the selection of measures of positive mental health employed in the 2017–2018 Health Behaviour among School-aged Children (HBSC) data collection in the Nordic countries. Using the Nordic HBSC data for 2002–2014, it was found that symptom and problem-oriented analyses of mental health can improve our understanding of the challenges adolescents face. However, there is also a need to examine positive aspects of mental health in order to enhance our understanding of different mental health-related dimensions. New measures were included in the 2017–18 HBSC data collection in the Nordic countries, enabling researchers to answer different research questions including analysing factors mediating and moderating positive mental health among school-aged children. Extending the perspective from a symptom- and problem-oriented view to a more positive and asset-based perspective adds additional value to studies of mental health.
CiteEriksson, C., Arnarsson, Á. M., Damsgaard, M. T., Löfstedt, P., Potrebny, T., Suominen, S., Thorsteinsson, E. B., Torsheim, T., Välimaa, R., & Due, P. (2019). Towards enhancing research on adolescent positive mental health. Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research, 4, 113-128. https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2464-4161-2019-02-08
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