The Relationship Between Social Context and Adolescent Psychological Distress: Evidence from the Young-HUNT studies
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Mental health problems and illnesses are highly prevalent and the consequences of having these problems can be severe, both for the one afflicted as well as significant others. The aim of the thesis was to examine how psychological distress in adolescence is related to family and school class context. The thesis consists of the following four articles: ◾Family structure, family relations and psychological distress: Results from the Young-Hunt 3 study ◾The association between school class composition and suicidal ideation in late adolescence: Findings from the Young-HUNT 3 study ◾Gender differences in the relationship between school problems, school class context and psychological distress: results from the Young-HUNT 3 study ◾Is psychological distress in late adolescence associated with school class context during middle adolescence? Evidence from the Young-HUNT studies While the first article examines the association between family arrangement, family relationship and psychological distress, the remaining articles explore the relationship between school class context and mental health. The second article investigates whether suicidal ideation is nested within school classes, and whether school class factors are associated with suicidal ideation. The third article considers whether school problems and school class context are associated with psychological distress, with a special emphasis on gender differences. Finally, the fourth article examines how psychological distress is associated with both past and present school class context. Overall, the results of the empirical analyses are in line with previous research on the topic. They suggest that the association between variables at the school class level and psychological distress is limited. On the other hand, individual factors related to both family and school class context, appear to be strongly associated with psychological distress. The discussion section is primarily dedicated to explaining why the association between mental health and variables at the school class level are relatively weak.