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Prospective associations between adolescent mental health problems and positive mental wellbeing in early old age

Nishida, A; Richards, M; Stafford, M; (2016) Prospective associations between adolescent mental health problems and positive mental wellbeing in early old age. CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY AND MENTAL HEALTH , 10 , Article 12. 10.1186/s13034-016-0099-2. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Mental health problems in adolescence are predictive of future mental distress and psychopathology; however, few studies investigated adolescent mental health problems in relation to future mental wellbeing and none with follow-up to older age. Aims To test prospective associations between adolescent mental health problems and mental wellbeing and life satisfaction in early old age. Methods A total of 1561 men and women were drawn from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (the British 1946 birth cohort). Teachers had previously completed rating scales to assess emotional adjustment and behaviours, which allowed us to extract factors of mental health problems measuring self-organisation, behavioural problems, and emotional problems during adolescence. Between the ages of 60–64 years, mental wellbeing was assessed using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) and life satisfaction was self-reported using the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Results After controlling for gender, social class of origin, childhood cognitive ability, and educational attainment, adolescent emotional problems were independently inversely associated with mental wellbeing and with life satisfaction. Symptoms of anxiety/depression at 60–64 years explained the association with life satisfaction but not with mental wellbeing. Associations between adolescent self-organisation and conduct problems and mental wellbeing and life satisfaction were of negligible magnitude, but higher childhood cognitive ability significantly predicted poor life satisfaction in early old age. Conclusions Adolescent self-organisation and conduct problems may not be predictive of future mental wellbeing and life satisfaction. Adolescent emotional problems may be inversely associated with future wellbeing, and may be associated with lower levels of future life satisfaction through symptoms of anxiety/depression in early old age. Initiatives to prevent and treat emotional problems in adolescence may have long-term benefits which extend into older age.

Type: Article
Title: Prospective associations between adolescent mental health problems and positive mental wellbeing in early old age
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13034-016-0099-2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13034-016-0099-2
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Nishida et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Self-organisation Emotional problems Conduct problems Wellbeing Life satisfaction Childhood intelligence
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 Population Health 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1496275
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