Cohort profile: The Youth and Mental Health Study (YAMHS) – a longitudinal study of the period from adolescence to adulthood
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2021, 16 (2), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247036
The aim of this article is to provide a detailed description of the Youth and Mental Health Study (YAMHS),a population-based, representative (cluster sampling), prospective cohort study that was conducted to investigate risk and resilience factors for mental health conditions, specifically depressive symptoms and disorders, from adolescence to adulthood. The baseline data were collected in 1998 (T1) in two counties in central Norway from 2464 adolescents (response rate 88.3%, mean age 13.7 years). The first follow-up was conducted in 1999 (T2) (n = 2432, response rate of 87.1%, mean age 14.9 years). A subgroup of individuals was assessed at T2 (n = 345) with clinical interviews, and this subgroup was reassessed in 2005 (T3) (n = 265, 70.1%, 20 years). The last follow-up (of participants assessed at T1 and T2) was conducted in 2012 (T4) (n = 1266, 51.9%, 27.2 years). Demographics, depressive symptoms, general psychopathology, suicidal ideation and attempts and psychological and somatic factors were recorded. Among adolescents of both sexes, psychosocial variables were correlated with and predicted depressive symptom severity. The strongest predictors were sex (female), the levels of depressive symptoms the preceding year, and the total number of stressful events. The association between stressful life events and depressive symptoms was moderated by physical activity, while the relationship between stressful events and coping style was mediated by depressive symptoms. The rate of use of specialised mental health services among the depressed was low. The lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders was 23% at 15 years, and the most common disorder was minor depression. Adolescents who attempted suicide were more often victims of violence and less resilient than were non-suicide attempters. The existing longitudinal data from the cohort will be further analysed. Follow-up data will be obtained from existing national registries by links created with individual identification numbers.