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Is Mental Health Competence in Childhood Associated With Health Risk Behaviors in Adolescence? Findings From the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Rougeaux, E; Hope, S; Viner, RM; Deighton, J; Law, C; Pearce, A; (2020) Is Mental Health Competence in Childhood Associated With Health Risk Behaviors in Adolescence? Findings From the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Journal of Adolescent Health 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.04.023. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Promoting positive mental health, particularly through enhancing competencies (such as prosocial behaviors and learning skills), may help prevent the development of health risk behaviors in adolescence and thus support future well-being. Few studies have examined how mental health competencies in childhood are associated with adolescent health risk behaviors, which could inform preventative approaches. METHODS: Using UK Millennium Cohort Study data (n = 10,142), we examined how mental health competence (MHC) measured at the end of elementary school (11 years) is associated with self-reported use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, alcohol, illegal drugs, antisocial behavior, and sexual contact with another young person at age 14 years. A latent measure of MHC was used, capturing aspects of prosocial behavior and learning skills, categorized as high MHC, high-moderate MHC, moderate MHC, and low MHC. Logistic and multinomial regression estimated odds ratios and relative risk ratios for binary and categorical outcomes, respectively, before and after adjusting for confounders. Weights accounted for sample design and attrition and multiple imputation for item missingness. RESULTS: Those with low, moderate, or high-moderate MHC at age 11 years were more likely to have taken part in health risk behaviors at age 14 years compared with those with high MHC. The largest associations were seen for low MHC with binge drinking (relative risk ratio: 1.6 [95% confidence interval: 1.1-2.4]), having tried cigarettes (odds ratio: 2.2 [95% confidence interval: 1.6-3.1]) and tried illegal drugs (odds ratio: 2.0 [95% confidence interval: 1.3-3.1) after adjusting for confounders (which attenuated results but largely maintained significant findings). CONCLUSIONS: MHC in late childhood is associated with health risk behaviors in midadolescence. Interventions that increase children's MHC may support healthy development during adolescence, with the potential to improve health and well-being through to adulthood.

Type: Article
Title: Is Mental Health Competence in Childhood Associated With Health Risk Behaviors in Adolescence? Findings From the UK Millennium Cohort Study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.04.023
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.04.023
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Child and adolescent health, Health-risk behaviours, Lifecourse, Mental health competence, Positive mental health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104128
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