This article focused on the effect of parental divorce on the time it took adolescents to initiate their first romantic relationships. To examine this effect, individual differences in temperament and pubertal development, and the age of the adolescent at the time of divorce were taken into account. The hypotheses were tested using event history analysis with a representative sample of 1487 Dutch adolescents. The results indicated that marital dissolution sped up the transition to first dating relationship, but only when it was experienced in early adolescence (between the ages of 11 and 13). The results are discussed in light of findings that stressors which occur during transitional periods, such as the entry into adolescence, can have stronger effects on adjustment than if they are experienced at another time.
Objective. To examine whether school absenteeism is a perpetuating factor of functional somatic symptoms and whether this holds true for bullied adolescents. Study design. This study is part of the longitudinal population-based study Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey. Data from assessment wave 2 (n = 2149; 51.0% girls; mean age = 13.65, SD = 0.53) and assessment wave 3 (n = 1816; 53.3% girls; mean age = 16.25, SD = 0.72) were used. Peer victimization was assessed by peer nominations, school absenteeism by both parent and teacher reports, and functional somatic symptoms with the Youth Self-Report. Results. With structural equation modeling, school absenteeism at the second wave, adjusted for functional somatic symptoms at the second wave, was reavealed to predict functional somatic symptoms at the third wave in the entire cohort (b = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.02- 0.22), but not in the subgroup of bullied adolescents (b = -0.13; 95% CI, -0.62-0.26). However, the difference between bullied and unbullied adolescents did not reach significance. Conclusion. This study provides evidence that school absenteeism is a perpetuating factor of functional somatic symptoms in adolescents. A clinical intervention study is necessary to examine whether preventing school absenteeism truly helps to reduce functional somatic symptoms in adolescents.