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Serious life events across childhood and mental health problems in early adolescence: The moderating role of family climate. Results from the ABIS population-based longitudinal study
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Health Care Analysis. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Paediatrics in Linköping.
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2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to investigate the association between experiences of serious life events assessed by checklists longitudinally across childhood (at age 5-6, age 8, and age 12-14 years) and level of mental health problems in early adolescence (at age 12-14), and the mediating role of family climate factors across childhood. Questionnaire data from the All Babies In Southeast Sweden (ABIS) population based cohort-study were used (n=1132). The association were best modelled with a sequential cumulative approach; that means that the number of time-periods at least one serious life event was experienced were linearly related to the level of mental health problems (SDQ-score) after controlling for age, sex/gender, parental educational level, immigrant status and fuzzy/difficult temperament at age 2-3 (b=0.58 [95% CI 0.28, 0.87], p<0.001). Parenting stress and the parents size and satisfaction of social support were found as moderating factors, where the association between serious life events and mental health problems only were found in the subgroups of families where the parent perceive chronically high levels of parenting stress (high at 3-4 times of 4 possible; n=163, b=1.28 [0.55, 2.01], p=0.001), have a small social network (n=108, p=1.75 [0.86, 2.64], p<0.001), and are dissatisfied with their social support (n=95, p=1.22 [0.36, 2.09], p=0.006). An absence of parenting stress across childhood and adequate social support for the parents are suggested as resilient factors. To avoid negative consequences for child mental health after experiences of stressful life events, parents should get adequate support in child health services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Endocrinology and Diabetes Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121065OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121065DiVA: diva2:851340
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-09-04 Last updated: 2016-04-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Stress in childhood and the risk of type 1 diabetes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stress in childhood and the risk of type 1 diabetes
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: It is still unknown why children develop type 1 diabetes (T1D), although both genetic predisposition and environmental factors seems to be involved. Stress has been suggested as one environmental factor contributing to the development of T1D since the stress hormones may increase the need for insulin or increase insulin resistance. The family is important for the child’s emotional security, development, and regulation of emotions, hence stress among the parent’s may influence the child’s experiences of stress and coping with stressors.

Aim: The aim of the current thesis was to evaluate self--‐assessment measurements of psychological stress in the family and to investigate if psychological stress in the family is involved in the development of childhood T1D.

Methods: The All Babies in Southeast Sweden (ABIS) study is a prospective cohort study following children born in southeast Sweden between 1997 and 1999. All parents of children born in the region, approximately 21600 were asked to participate. In total, questionnaire data has been obtained from n=16142 (response rate approximately 75%) in some of the six data--‐collections and between 15845 (73%) and 4022 (19%) at each data collection. Psychological stress in the family was measured by questionnaires assessing: Serious life events experienced by the child and the parent, parenting stress, parental dissatisfaction, parental worries, the parent’s adult attachment, and the parents’ social support. Identification of cases with T1D was done through the national register SweDiabKids. At Dec the 31st 2012 had in total 104 (0,64%) children been diagnosed with T1D. Diabetes--‐cases included in the study samples was n=42 and n=58.

Results: Parenting stress, parental worries, and size of social support were judged as reliable measurements assessing different aspects of psychological stress in the family, as well as they were all associated to children’s mental health in early adolescence. A serious life event experienced in childhood (measured by checklist at age 5--‐6, 8 and 10--‐ 14 years) was associated with an increase in risk for manifest T1D up to 13--‐15 years of age. None of the variables measuring psychological stress among parents were found to associate with risk of T1D.

Conclusions: In addition to a checklist assessing serious life events experienced by the child is self--‐assessment measurements of parenting stress, parental worries and the parent’s social support be useful in large--‐scale studies as proxies for psychological stress of the child. The current study is the first unbiased prospective study that can confirm an association between the experience of a serious life event and increased risk of T1D. The result was independent of the child’s BMI and the parents’ educational level. Our results gives us strong reason to believe that psychological stress caused by serious life events can play a part in the immunological process leading to the onset of T1D.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 94 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1475
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Clinical Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121066 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-121066 (DOI)978-91-7685-973-5 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-25, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-09-04 Last updated: 2016-04-01Bibliographically approved

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Nygren, MariaCarstensen, JohnKoch, FelixLudvigsson, JohnnyFrostell, Anneli Sepa
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Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDivision of Health Care AnalysisPsychologyFaculty of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Paediatrics in Linköping
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and EpidemiologyEndocrinology and DiabetesPediatrics

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