ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
4/2018
vol. 27
 
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abstract:
Original article

Risk and protector factors associated with internalizing problems in late adolescence

Agnieszka Pisarska, Krzysztof Ostaszewski, Krzysztof Bobrowski

Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2018; 27 (4): 261-280
Online publish date: 2018/12/31
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Purpose
Internalizing problems are emotional and behavioural difficulties characterized by a dominant sense of mental and physical discomfort. These problems, with more or less severity, can occur during adolescence. For this reason it is important to broaden our knowledge of the factors associated with these kinds of difficulties. The aim of the study was to analyse the risk and protective factors associated with the development of internalizing problems such as symptoms of depression, low self-esteem and negative emotional states in late adolescence.

Methods
Longitudinal studies were conducted among students attending Warsaw high schools (N = 511). The baseline was carried out in 2013 and the follow-up in 2015. A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was completed during school lessons to that end.

Results
The results of generalized linear models (GENLIN) with gamma distribution indicated a statistically significant relationship between the internalization problems of 18 year-olds and the predictors measured two years earlier. Risk factors for depression were gender (female), stress in the family and excessive internet use. Protective factors were physical activity and parental support. Low self-esteem was associated with gender (female) and stress in the family. Higher self-esteem was associated with parental support, good relations with peers and physical activity. Experiencing negative emotional states were associated with gender (female), excessive use of the internet, stress at school and at home as well as the use of sedatives and sleeping pill. Physical activity turned out to be a factor protecting against negative emotional states.

Conclusions
The results showing the importance of physical activity indicate that encouraging adolescents to be active could be a valuable strategy in the prevention of depression and other youth internalizing problems.

keywords:

youth, internalizing problems, risk factors, protective factors

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