Psychosocial Correlates of Violence over 8 Years
Keywords:Violence, Adolescents, Psychosocial Factors, Emotional Problems, Trends
This study aimed at identifying the prevalence of emotional problems and bullying behavior among children and adolescents in Portugal. Gender, developmental aspects, their psychosocial determinants, and the time trends over 8 years were also explored. The three waves of a cross-sectional survey obtained from the HBSC nationally representative samples of 10-17 year old children and adolescents in 1998, 2002, and 2006, were used. Specific composite indexes included emotional and somatic symptoms, involvement in violence, either as a perpetrator and/or a victim,, demographic and psychosocial factors and neighborhood. Girls reported more emotional symptoms, and boys reported more bullying behavior. Emotional symptoms increased with age, in contrast bullying behavior, school commitment and perception of safe neighborhood decreased with age. With age, the communication with the family tends to become more difficult, while communication with the friends tends to become easier. Along the three waves, bullying behavior has shown a decrease (from 2002 to 2006) and emotional symptoms have shown a general pattern of decrease. Results were discussed according to literature and their consequences for the understanding of emotional problems and bullying behavior in childhood and adolescence. Mental health and wellbeing promotion include both the prevention of emotional problems and bullying behavior; determinants include individual factors and a range of psychosocial factors. Mental health problems have a huge impact on adolescentsâ€™ well-being; however it is often a poorer area of intervention in school based interventions. Gender differences are highlighted.
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