Triangulation of stress in adolescence
2012 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 22, no supplement 2, 220-220 p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Large scale surveys show that perceived stress and stress-related complaints are common among young people. Perceived stress increase with age and are more common in girls than boys, resulting in late adolescent girls reporting the highest frequencies. The knowledge is however more limited regarding other measurements and meanings of stress. The purpose of this study is to use a small-scale multiple methods data collection to perform an empirical triangulation of stress in the age group 14–15 years, i.e. to analyse stress, and gender differences in stress, as it appears in questionnaires, biomarkers and interviews within the same population. The study population includes all pupils in the 8th and 9th grades (ages 14–16 years) in two elementary schools in Stockholm, Sweden (n = 545). The data collection was divided into three parts where information was gathered through class room questionnaires (n = 413), saliva sampling (5 time points during the day, number of students delivering complete samples = 190) and semi-structured qualitative interviews (49 pupils in grade 8, mean length 50 minutes).
In the questionnaires, girls consistently report higher levels of perceived stress. This is true for the activation scale (mean value boys = 2.51, girls = 3.11, p < 0.00) and the pressure scale (boys = 2.62, girls = 3.33, p < 0.00). According to the saliva sampling, girls have higher cortisol concentration both at awakening and 30 minutes later (p < 0.00). According to the qualitative interviews, no distinct differences in boys’ and girls’ associations with the word “stress” were found. However, both male and female interviewees had a perception of girls being more stressed about schoolwork than boys. Many times they linked this to girls way of thinking or coping with life demands, including worries about the future. In conclusion, the picture of adolescent girls being more stressed than boys is largely confirmed by all methods used here.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 22, no supplement 2, 220-220 p.
Psychology Health Sciences
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83520DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/cks115ISI: 000310370400560OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-83520DiVA: diva2:576118
5th European Public Health Conference All Inclusive Public Health Portomaso, St. Julian's, Malta, 8–10 November 2012
FunderFAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research