Well-being, distress and health status in a population of adolescent students

Guidi, Jenny (2011) Well-being, distress and health status in a population of adolescent students, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Psicologia generale e clinica, 23 Ciclo.
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The present work explores the psychosocial issues emerging from a large cross-sectional study aimed to assess the prevalence, clinical manifestations, and psychosocial correlates of hyperandrogenism in a population of Italian high school students. Participants were 1804 adolescents, aged between 15 and 19 years, who volunteered to fill in a package of self-report questionnaires (including the Psychosocial Index, the Symptom Questionnaire and Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being scales for the assessment of psychological aspects) and undergo a comprehensive physical examination. Significant gender differences were found with regard to psychological distress, with females reporting higher scores compared with males, but not on well-being dimensions. The relationships of well-being to distress were found to be complex. Although inversely associated, well-being and ill-being appeared to be distinct domains of mental functioning. The evaluation of the moderating effects of well-being in the association between stress and psychological distress indicated that well-being may act as a protective factor, contributing to less pronounced psychological distress as stress levels increased. Higher rates of somatic complaints were found among current smokers. However, substance use (i.e., smoking and drug use) was also found to be positively associated with some well-being dimensions. A considerable number of participants were found to present with disordered eating symptoms, particularly females, and associated higher stress levels and lower quality of life. Sport activities were found to favourably affect psychological health. As to clinical signs of hyperandrogenism, a significant impairment in psychosocial functioning was found among females, whereas no effects on psychological measures could be detected among males. Subgroups of adolescents with distinct clinical and psychological characteristics could be identified by means of cluster analysis. The present study provides new insights into better understanding of the complex relationships between well-being, distress and health status in the adolescent population, with important clinical implications.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Guidi, Jenny
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze umanistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
psychological well-being psychological distress lifestyle behaviors hyperandrogenism adolescents
Data di discussione
12 Aprile 2011

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