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Risk factors for, and effects of, stress, anxiety, and depression in adolescents

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gareth RichardsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Aims: Stress, anxiety, and depression are alarmingly common in the general population, can be extremely debilitating, and are a huge cost to public health services. Understanding risk factors associated with such conditions may therefore be useful in helping devise intervention strategies. Though much research has been conducted in the adult population, relatively few studies have investigated these problems in adolescents from the UK. This is a gap in the literature that the current paper aims to address.Study Design: The current research utilised a cross-sectional design.Place and Duration of Study: Data were collected from three secondary schools in Cornwall, UK, in June 2013.Methodology: Data from the Cornish Academies Project were used to investigate links between demographic and lifestyle variables and single item measures of stress, anxiety, and depression. The sample included 2307 secondary school children aged 11-17 (48.5% male, 51.5% female) from the South West of England.Results: A number of risk factors were identified, including female gender, low sleep hours, and belonging to a higher school year. In addition to this, the effects of stress anxiety, and depression on school attendance, Key Stage 3/Key Stage 4 English and maths attainment, and the occurrence of behavioural sanctions were investigated. After demographic and lifestyle covariates had been controlled for, high stress was found to predict the occurrence of behavioural sanctions, and high depression was associated with below average English and maths attainment.Conclusion: Though the findings presented are informative in themselves, the identification of correlates of mental health problems in this demographic group may also be of benefit to future studies that utilise multivariate approaches to data analysis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richards G, Smith AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science

Year: 2015

Volume: 10

Issue: 4

Pages: 1-10

Online publication date: 14/07/2015

Acceptance date: 03/07/2015

Date deposited: 05/07/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2278-0998

Publisher: SCIENCEDOMAIN International


DOI: 10.9734/BJESBS/2015/19501


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