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Stability and change in a predictive model of emotional and behavioural problems from early adolescence to middle adulthood


Spitz, Andrea; Aebi, Marcel; Metzke, Christa Winkler; Walitza, Susanne; Steinhausen, Hans-Christoph (2022). Stability and change in a predictive model of emotional and behavioural problems from early adolescence to middle adulthood. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 151:8-16.

Abstract

The impact of negative life events, self-esteem, and coping behaviour are considered to be contributing factors in the development of emotional and behavioural problems. Differences in the predictive value of these three factors on emotional and behavioural problems from adolescence to adulthood have not yet been studied. Multiple linear regressions separate for the two sexes were used to assess whether the impact of negative life-events, self-esteem, and coping behaviour predicted emotional and behavioural problems at four discrete measurement points from early adolescence to middle adulthood in a cohort of N = 366 participants from a Swiss longitudinal community study. Mostly irrespective of sex, negative life-events and low self-esteem were significant predictors of internalizing problems, externalizing problems and total problem scores in adolescence as well as in adulthood. The explained variance in the model increased steadily from early adolescence to middle adulthood. While the impact of negative life-events was on the same level across all measurements until adulthood, the contribution of self-esteem increased steadily. There was a significant association, particularly in adolescent males, between avoidant coping and emotional and behavioural problems. The cross-sectional findings from this community study reflect long-term robust patterns in the associations of negative life-events, self-esteem, and avoidant coping with emotional and behavioural problems from adolescence to adulthood. Clinically, the three constructs represent actionable targets for optimizing assessment and intervention strategies across the adolescent life-span.

Keywords: Adolescence; Adulthood; Behavioural problems; Coping; Life-events; Self-esteem.

Abstract

The impact of negative life events, self-esteem, and coping behaviour are considered to be contributing factors in the development of emotional and behavioural problems. Differences in the predictive value of these three factors on emotional and behavioural problems from adolescence to adulthood have not yet been studied. Multiple linear regressions separate for the two sexes were used to assess whether the impact of negative life-events, self-esteem, and coping behaviour predicted emotional and behavioural problems at four discrete measurement points from early adolescence to middle adulthood in a cohort of N = 366 participants from a Swiss longitudinal community study. Mostly irrespective of sex, negative life-events and low self-esteem were significant predictors of internalizing problems, externalizing problems and total problem scores in adolescence as well as in adulthood. The explained variance in the model increased steadily from early adolescence to middle adulthood. While the impact of negative life-events was on the same level across all measurements until adulthood, the contribution of self-esteem increased steadily. There was a significant association, particularly in adolescent males, between avoidant coping and emotional and behavioural problems. The cross-sectional findings from this community study reflect long-term robust patterns in the associations of negative life-events, self-esteem, and avoidant coping with emotional and behavioural problems from adolescence to adulthood. Clinically, the three constructs represent actionable targets for optimizing assessment and intervention strategies across the adolescent life-span.

Keywords: Adolescence; Adulthood; Behavioural problems; Coping; Life-events; Self-esteem.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adolescence, Adulthood, Behavioural problems, Coping, Life-events, Self-esteem.
Language:English
Date:24 March 2022
Deposited On:03 Jun 2022 09:10
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 01:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3956
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.03.029
PubMed ID:35427875
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)