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Development and predictors of mental ill-health and wellbeing from childhood to adolescence

Patalay, P; Fitzsimons, E; (2018) Development and predictors of mental ill-health and wellbeing from childhood to adolescence. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology , 53 (12) pp. 1311-1323. 10.1007/s00127-018-1604-0. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim is to investigate the (1) longitudinal development in mental ill-health and wellbeing from ages 11 to 14, (2) predictors of changes in mental health outcomes, and (3) sex and reporter differences. METHOD: Data are taken from 9553 participants in the Millennium Cohort Study, with both mental ill-health (parent- and self-report) and wellbeing outcomes of the cohort members measured at ages 11 and 14. A range of childhood socio-demographic, human capital, family and wider environment risk and protective factors are investigated. RESULTS: Wellbeing has weak stability and mental ill-health has moderate stability between ages 11 and 14 and large sex differences emerge in all the mental health outcomes investigated, with girls experiencing lower wellbeing and greater symptoms of mental illness at age 14. Raw associations between outcomes, and differences in their predictors, indicate varying patterns emerging for parent- and self-reported mental ill-health, with parent-reported symptoms in childhood a poor predictor of both self-reported wellbeing and depressive symptoms in adolescence. Investigating the emergent sex differences in prevalences highlights childhood risk and protective factors at this age that are more salient in females, including family income, school connectedness, cognitive ability, whereas peer relationships and bullying were equally relevant for mental health development in both males and females. CONCLUSION: Low–moderate stability of mental health outcomes stresses the importance of the transition period for mental health, highlighting an intervention window at these ages for prevention. Socio-economic status is associated with mental health development in females but not in males at this age, highlighting a sex-specific vulnerability of deprivation associated with poorer mental health in adolescent females.

Type: Article
Title: Development and predictors of mental ill-health and wellbeing from childhood to adolescence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00127-018-1604-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-018-1604-0
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Well-being, Transition, Mental illness, Depression, Longitudinal
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063372
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