2012 › Trails



Other (TRAILS and research techniques): Who Dates? The Effects of Temperament, Puberty, and Parenting on Early Adolescent Experience with Dating: The TRAILS Study

Authors: Ivanova K, Veenstra R, Mills M

This article focuses on how temperament, pubertal maturation, and perception of parenting behaviors affect the propensity to date in early adolescence (mean age = 13.55). Hypotheses are tested with a representative sample of 2,230 Dutch adolescents, the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey
(TRAILS). The results suggest that adolescents are more likely to have experience with dating when they score higher on the need for high-intensity pleasure, pubertal maturation, and perceived parental rejection. Shyness, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. In addition, a moderation effect is observed such that the more rejecting the parents are perceived to be, the less effect the temperament characteristic of high-intensity pleasure has on dating. Future research should investigate in further detail whether dating could be seen as a way for early adolescents to establish their grown-up status or as a way to compensate for heightened parental rejection.

Other (TRAILS and research techniques): Benefits of extensive recruitment effort persist during follow-ups and are consistent across age group and survey method. The TRAILS study

Authors: Nederhof E, Jörg F, Raven D, Veenstra R, Verhulst FC, Ormel J, Oldehinkel AJ

Background. Extensive recruitment effort at baseline increases representativeness of study populations by decreasing non-response and associated bias. First, it is not known to what extent increased attrition occurs during subsequent measurement waves among subjects who were hard-to-recruit at baseline and what characteristics the hard-to-recruit dropouts have compared to the hard-to-recruit retainers. Second, it is unknown whether characteristics of hard-to-recruit responders in a prospective population based cohort study are similar across age group and survey method. Methods. First, we compared first wave (T1) easy-to-recruit with hard-to-recruit responders of the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a prospective population based cohort study of Dutch (pre)adolescents (at first wave: n = 2230, mean age = 11.09 (SD 0.56), 50.8% girls), with regard to response rates at subsequent measurement waves. Second, easy-to-recruit and hard-to-recruit participants at the fourth TRAILS measurement wave (n = 1881, mean age = 19.1 (SD 0.60), 52.3% girls) were compared with fourth wave non-responders and earlier stage drop-outs on family composition, socioeconomic position (SEP), intelligence (IQ), education, sociometric status, substance use, and psychopathology. Results and discussion. First, over 60% of the hard-to-recruit responders at the first wave were retained in the sample eight years later at the fourth measurement wave. Hard-to-recruit dropouts did not differ from hard-to-recruit retainers. Second, extensive recruitment efforts for the web based survey convinced a population of nineteen year olds with similar characteristics as the hard-to-recruit eleven year olds that were persuaded to participate in a school-based survey. Some characteristics associated with being hard-to-recruit (as compared to being easy-to-recruit) were more pronounced among non-responders, resembling the baseline situation (De Winter et al., 2005).
Conclusions. First, extensive recruitment effort at the first assessment wave of a prospective population based cohort study has long lasting positive effects. Second, characteristics of hard-to-recruit responders are largely consistent across age groups and survey methods.

Other (TRAILS and research techniques): The TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS): Design, Current Status, and Selected Findings

Authors: Ormel J, Oldehinkel AJ, Sijtsema JJ, Van Oort FVA, Raven D, Veenstra R, Vollebergh WAM, et al.

Objectives. (1) To present a concise overview of the sample, outcomes, determinants, non-response and attrition of the ongoing TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which started in 2001. (2) To summarize a selection of recent findings on continuity, discontinuity, risk, and protective factors of mental health problems. (3) To document the development of psychopathology during adolescence, focusing on whether the increase of problem behavior often seen in adolescence is a general phenomenon or more prevalent in vulnerable teens, thereby giving rise to diverging developmental pathways.
Method. Objectives 1 and 2 were achieved using descriptive statistics and selective review of previous publications; and objective 3 by analyzing longitudinal data on internalizing and externalizing problems using Linear Mixed Models (LMM). Results. The LMM analyses supported the notion of diverging pathways for rule-breaking behaviors but not for anxiety, depression or aggression. Overall, rule-breaking (in both genders) and withdrawn/depressed behavior (particularly in girls) increased, while aggression and anxious/depressed behavior dropped during adolescence. Conclusions. TRAILS has produced a wealth of data and contributed substantially to our understanding of mental health problems and social development during adolescence. Future waves will expand this database into adulthood. The typical development of problem behaviors in adolescence differs considerably across both problem dimensions and gender. Developmental pathways during adolescence suggest accumulation of risk (i.e. diverging pathways) for rule-breaking behavior. However, those of anxiety, depression and aggression slightly converge, suggesting the influence of counter-forces and changes of risk unrelated to initial problem levels and underlying vulnerability.

Other (TRAILS and research techniques): Response time variability and response inhibition predict affective problems in adolescent girls, not in boys: the TRAILS study

Authors: Van Deurzen PAM, Buitelaar JK, Brunnekreef JA, Ormel J, Minderaa RB, Hartman CA, Huizink AC, et al.

The present study examines the relationship between neurocognitive functioning and affective problems through adolescence, in a cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective. Baseline response speed, response speed variability, response inhibition, attentional flexibility and working memory were assessed in a cohort of 2,179 adolescents (age 10-12 years) from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). Affective problems were measured with the DSM-oriented Affective Problems scale of the Youth Self Report at wave 1 (baseline assessment), wave 2 (after 2.5 years) and wave 3 (after 5 years). Cross-sectionally, baseline response speed, response time variability, response inhibition and working memory were associated with baseline affective problems in girls, but not in boys. Longitudinally, enhanced response time variability predicted affective problems after 2.5 and 5 years in girls, but not in boys. Decreased response inhibition predicted affective problems after 5 years follow-up in girls, and again not in boys. The results are discussed in light of recent insights in gender differences in adolescence and state-trait issues in depression.