Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Prevalence of psychological problems in Irish school going adolescents

  • Maria Lawlor and Deborah James (a1)

Abstract

Objectives: To establish the prevalence of psychological problems in older adolescents.

Method: The Youth Self Report was completed by teenagers in a class group. Percentages scoring above clinical threshold were calculated. Gender differences and variances between school type were examined.

Results: Seven hundred and seventy-nine students participated in the study, 373 males and 406 females. Of the girls 23% reported problems in the clinical range on total problem score compared with 19% of boys. Significant gender differences were noted on total problem and internalising scores but not on externalising scores. The levels of psychological problems did not appear to be influenced by school type. Of the total group 6.4% reported thinking of suicide frequently (almost twice as many girls as boys) and this rose to 25% of girls who scored in the clinical range of total problem score and 15% of boys.

Conclusions: Twenty-one per cent of adolescents had problems in the clinical range. Girls reported more problems than boys. It was surprising to find that there was no gender difference in reported levels of externalising problems. The high expression of suicidal and thoughts of self-harm in those with externalising and internalising problems is of concern. This highlights the vulnerability of older adolescents as they tend to fall between the current child and adolescent services. Service provision for this population should be a priority in rural areas and on a national basis.

Copyright

References

Hide All
1.Leslie, SA. Psychiatric disorder in the voung adolescents of an industrial town. Br J Psychiatry 1974; 125: 113–24.
2.Rutter, M, Tizard, J, Yule, W, Graham, P, Whitmore, K. Isle of Wight Studies 1964-1974. Psychol Med 1976; 6: 313–32.
3.Offord, DRet al.Ontario Child health study: II: Six month prevalence of disorder and rates of service utilisation. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1987; 44: 832–6.
4.Bird, HRet al.Estimates of the prevalence of childhood maladjustment in a community survey in Puerto Rico. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1988; 45: 1120–6.
5.McGee, R. Feehan, M, Williams, S, Partridge, F, Silva, PA, Kelly, JJ. Am Acad Child Adol Psychiatry 1990; 29(4 July).
6.Verhulst, FC, Koot, HM. Child psychiatric epidemiology concepts, methods and findings. Vol 23. Developmental clinical psychology and psychiatry. London: Sage Publications, 1992; Ch 5: 117120.
7.Place, M. The relative value of screening instruments in adolescence. J Adol 1987; 10: 227–40.
8.D'Arcy, C, Siddique, CM. Psychological distress among Canadian adolescents. Psychol Med 1984; 14: 615–28.
9.Williams, H, Fitzgerald, M, Kinsella, A. Psychological distress and attitude to authority in a sample of Irish adolescents. Ir J Psych Med 1989; 6: 3740.
10.Achenbach, TM. Manual for the Child Behaviour Checklist/2-18 and 1991 profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Dept of Psychiatry (1991a).
11.Cohen, P, Velez, M, Kohn, P, Schwab-Stone, M, Johnson, J. Child Psychiatric Diagnosis by computer algorithm: theoretical issues and empirical tests. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1987; 26: 631–8.
12.Fitzpatrick, C, Deehan, A. Competencies and Problems of Irish Children and adolescents. Ir J Med Sci 1999; 156: 219–21.
13.Brown, K, Fitzgerald, F, Kinsella, A. Prevalence of psychological distress on Irish female adolescents. J Adol 1990; 13: 341–50.
14.Houlihan, B, Fitzgerald, M, O'Regan, M. Self esteem, depression and hostility in Irish Adolescents. J Adol 1994; 17: 565–77.
15.Fitzgerald, M, Kinsella, A. Behavioural deviance in an Irish urban and rural town sample. Ir J Med Sci 1987; 156: 219–21.
16. Dep of Education statistics 1994/1995
17.Martin, M and Morgan, M. Reading literacy in Ireland: a comparative analysis of the IEA reading literacy study. Ir J Ed 1994; 28: 3101.
18.Binder, DA. On the variances of asymptotically normal estimators form complex surveys. Int Stat Rev 1983; 51: 279–92.
19.Eltinge, JL, Stribne, WM. Svy4: linear, logistic and probit regression for survey data. Stata Tech Bull 31, 26-31. Reprinted in Stata Tech Bull reprints 1996;6:239–45.
20.Morgan, CJ, Cauce, AM. Predicting DSMIII-R disorders from YSR. Analysis of data from a field study. J Am Acad Child Adol Psychiatry 1999; 38(10): 1237–45.
21.Reynolds, WM. A school based procedure for the identification of adolescents at risk for suicidal behaviours. Family and Community Health 1991a; 14(3): 6475.
22.O'Sullivan, M, Fitzgerald, M. Suicidal ideation and acts of self-harm among Dublin school children. J Adol 1988, 21: 427–33.
23.Kelleher, M. Corcoran, P, Keelv, HS. Variation in suicide rates between different health board areas. IMJ 1998; 91(2): 53–6.
24.Kelleher, M, Corcoran, P, Keohane, B. Suicide, road traffic and cancer deaths among the young in Ireland. IMJ 1995; 90, 72–4.
25.Andrews, JA, Lewinsohn, PMSuicidal attempts among older adolescents: Prevalence and Co-occurrence with psychiatric disorders. J Am Acad Child Adol Psychiatry 1992; 31(4): 655–62.
26.Beautrais, AL, Joyce, PR, Mulder, RT. Precipitating factors and life events in serious suicide attempts among youths aged 13 through 24 vears. J Am Acad Child Adol Psvchiatry 1997; 36: 11 November: 1543–51.
27.Woods, ER, Lin, YG, Middleman, A. Beckford, P, Chase, L, DuRant, RH. The associations of suicide attempts in adolescents. Pediatrics 1997; 99: 791–6.

Keywords

Prevalence of psychological problems in Irish school going adolescents

  • Maria Lawlor and Deborah James (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed