The aim of the research project is to improve the understanding of the social processes for developing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety among Norwegian adolescents. Further, we want to examine the risk and protective factors such as social network, parental characteristica, personality and alcohol use on adolescetns depression and anxiety. In addition, we will investigate parents mental health and alcohol use and its impact on adolescents mental health problems.
The prospective stu dy is based on the Young-HUNT study in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), 1995-97. All the pupils in the county from 8th to 13th grade participated in the study (n=8984), 88% of all invited. A follow-up study was performed five years later among thos e still in 12th to 13th grade, (n=2714), 79% of all invited. Data from Young-HUNT was merged with parental mental health data reported in the adult HUNT study. The following measures were among others included in both these studies: anxiety and depression (SCL-25), lifestyle, such as alcohol use, personality, self-esteem, and social network. This means that we have the opportunity to study for example the impact of parents mental health and lifestyle on the adolescents mental health.
The most important challenge of this study is that the measure of depression and anxiety can be rather crude. However, the measure has proven to be reliable in earlier studies. Likewise the measure on alcohol is brief, but the face validity is good and the measure has been used successfully in earlier studies.
Scientific importance: Few earlier studies of this kind are based on data from both adolescence and their parents. This will give an important contribution to a better understanding of the impact of parental mental health and lifestyle on the adolescent mental health.