This research is part of the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). Participating centers of TRAILS include various departments of the University Medical Center and University of Groningen, the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the University of Utrecht, the Radboud Medical Center Nijmegen, and the Parnassia Bavo group, all in the Netherlands. TRAILS has been financially supported by various grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO (Medical Research Council program Grant GB‐MW 940‐38‐011; ZonMW Brainpower Grant 100‐001‐004; ZonMw Risk Behavior and Dependence Grants 60‐60600‐97‐118; ZonMw Culture and Health Grant 261‐98‐710; Social Sciences Council medium‐sized investment Grants GB‐MaGW 480‐01‐006 and GB‐MaGW 480‐07‐001; Social Sciences Council project Grants GB‐MaGW 452‐04‐314 and GB‐MaGW 452‐06‐004; NWO large‐sized investment Grant 175.010.2003.005; NWO Longitudinal Survey and Panel Funding 481‐08‐013, NWO Gravitation 024‐001‐003) the Dutch Ministry of Justice (WODC), the European Science Foundation (EuroSTRESS project FP‐006), Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure BBMRI‐NL (CP 32), the participating universities, and Accare Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. We are grateful to all adolescents, their parents, and their teachers who participated in this research and to everyone who worked on this project and made it possible.
Romantic relationship quality in adolescence and early adulthood has often been linked to earlier parent–child relationship quality but it is possible that these links are nonlinear. Moreover, the role of social skills as mediator of associations between parent–child and romantic relations has been discussed but not rigorously tested. Using data from 2,230 participants of the longitudinal TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey) sample, this study examined whether parent–child positivity assessed at age 11 predicted romantic involvement, commitment and satisfaction in emerging adulthood. Moreover, indirect effects via cooperation, assertion and self-control were tested. Parent–child positivity did not predict romantic involvement as such. However, in those who were romantically involved, linear and, by trend, nonlinear associations between parent–child positivity and commitment were found, suggesting higher levels of commitment in those who had reported positive parent–child relationships but also in individuals with particularly low levels of parent–child positivity. Satisfaction was linearly linked to parent–child positivity. Little support was found for the assumption that the association between parent–child positivity and romantic relationship quality in emerging adulthood are partly explained by social skills. These results show that neither congruence nor compensation alone are sufficient to explain the associations between parent–child and romantic relationship quality.
It is well-known that childhood adversities can have long-term effects on mental health, but a lot remains to be learned about the risk they bring about for a first onset of various psychiatric disorders, and how this risk develops over time. In the present study, which was based on a Dutch longitudinal population survey of adolescents TRAILS (N = 1,584), we investigated whether and how childhood adversities, as assessed with three different measures, affected the risk of developing an incident depressive, anxiety, or disruptive behavior in childhood and adolescence. In addition, we tested gender differences in any of the effects under study. The results indicated that depressive, anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders each had their own, characteristic, pattern of associations with childhood adversities across childhood and adolescence, which was maintained after adjustment for comorbid disorders. For depressive disorders, the overall pattern suggested a high excess risk of incidence during childhood, which decreased during adolescence. Anxiety disorders were characterized by a moderately increased incident risk during childhood, which remained approximately stable over time. Disruptive behavior disorders took an intermediate position. Of the three childhood adversities tested, an overall rating of the stressfulness of the childhood appeared to predict onset of psychiatric disorders best. To conclude, the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder after exposure to adversities early in life depends on the nature of the adversities, the nature of the outcome, and the time that has passed since the adversities without disorder onset.
Background. With psychopathology rising during adolescence and evidence suggesting that adult mental health burden is often due to disorders beginning in youth, it is important to investigate the epidemiology of adolescent mental disorders. Method. We analysed data gathered at ages 11 (baseline) and 19 years from the population-based Dutch TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) study. At baseline we administered the Achenbach measures (Child Behavior Checklist, Youth Self-Report) and at age 19 years the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) to 1584 youths. Results. Lifetime, 12-month and 30-day prevalences of any CIDI-DSM-IV disorder were 45, 31 and 15%, respectively. Half were severe. Anxiety disorders were the most common but the least severe whereas mood and behaviour disorders were less prevalent but more severe. Disorders persisted, mostly by recurrence in mood disorders and chronicity in anxiety disorders. Median onset age varied substantially across disorders. Having one disorder increased subjects' risk of developing another disorder. We found substantial homotypic and heterotypic continuity. Baseline problems predicted the development of diagnosable disorders in adolescence. Non-intact families and low maternal education predicted externalizing disorders. Most morbidity concentrated in 5-10% of the sample, experiencing 34-55% of all severe lifetime disorders. Conclusions. At late adolescence, 22% of youths have experienced a severe episode and 23% only mild episodes. This psychopathology is rather persistent, mostly due to recurrence, showing both monotypic and heterotypic continuity, with family context affecting particularly externalizing disorders. High problem levels at age 11 years are modest precursors of incident adolescent disorders. The burden of mental illness concentrates in 5-10% of the adolescent population.
Background. Given the negative consequences of early alcohol use for health and social functioning, it is essential to detect children at risk of early drinking. The aim of this study is to determine predictors of early alcohol use that can easily be detected in Preventive Child Healthcare (PCH). Methods. We obtained data from the first two waves on 1261 Dutch adolescents who participated in TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey) at ages 10-14 years and from the PCH records regarding ages 4-10 years. Early adolescence alcohol use (age 10-14 years) was defined as alcohol use at least once at ages 10-12 years (wave 1) and at least once in the previous 4 weeks at ages 12-14 years (wave 2). Predictors of early alcohol use concerned parent and teacher reports at wave 1 and PCH registrations, regarding the child's psychosocial functioning, and parental and socio-demographic characteristics. Results. A total of 17.2% of the adolescents reported early alcohol use. Predictors of early alcohol use were teacher-reported aggressive behaviour [odds ratios (OR); 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.86; 1.11-3.11], being a boy (OR 1.80, 95%-CI 1.31-2.56), being a non-immigrant (OR 2.31, 95%CI 1.05-5.09), and low and middle educational level of the father (OR 1.71, 95%CI 1.12-2.62 and OR 1.77, 95%CI 1.16-2.70, respectively), mutually adjusted. Conclusion. A limited set of factors was predictive for early alcohol use. Use of this set may improve the detection of early adolescence alcohol use in PCH.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
Background. Some adolescents function poorly in apparently benign environments, while others thrive despite hassles and difficulties. The aim of this study was to examine if adolescents with specialized skills in the recognition of either positive or negative emotions have a context-dependent risk of developing an anxiety or depressive disorder during adolescence, depending on exposure to positive or harsh parenting. Methods. Data came from a large prospective Dutch population study (N = 1539). At age 11, perceived parental rejection and emotional warmth were measured by questionnaire, and emotion recognition skills by means of a reaction-time task. Lifetime diagnoses of anxiety and depressive disorders were assessed at about age 19, using a standardized diagnostic interview. Results. Adolescents who were specialized in the recognition of positive emotions had a relatively high probability to develop an anxiety disorder when exposed to parental rejection (Bspecialization*rejection = 0.23, P < 0.01) and a relatively low probability in response to parental emotional warmth (Bspecialization*warmth = -0.24, P = 0.01), while the opposite pattern was found for specialists in negative emotions. The effect of parental emotional warmth on depression onset was likewise modified by emotion recognition specialization (B = -0.13, P = 0.03), but the effect of parental rejection was not (B = 0.02, P = 0.72). In general, the relative advantage of specialists in negative emotions was restricted to fairly uncommon negative conditions. Conclusions. Our results suggest that there is no unequivocal relation between parenting behaviors and the probability to develop an anxiety or depressive disorder in adolescence, and that emotion recognition specialization may be a promising way to distinguish between various types of context-dependent reaction patterns.
Large individual differences in adolescent mental health following chronic psychosocial stress suggest moderating factors. We examined two established moderators, basal cortisol and parental psychiatric history, simultaneously. We hypothesized that individuals with high basal cortisol, assumed to indicate high context sensitivity, would show relatively high problem levels following chronic stress, especially in the presence of parental psychiatric history. With Linear Mixed Models, we investigated the hypotheses in 1917 Dutch adolescents (53.2 % boys), assessed at ages 11, 13.5, and 16. Low basal cortisol combined with the absence of a parental psychiatric history increased the risk of externalizing but not internalizing problems following chronic stress. Conversely, low basal cortisol combined with a substantial parental psychiatric history increased the risk of internalizing but not externalizing problems following chronic stress. Thus, parental psychiatric history moderated stress- cortisol interactions in predicting psychopathology, but in a different direction than hypothesized. We conclude that the premise that basal cortisol indicates context sensitivity may be too crude. Context sensitivity may not be a general trait but may depend on the nature of the context (e.g., type or duration of stress exposure) and on the outcome of interest (e.g., internalizing vs. externalizing problems). Although consistent across informants, our findings need replication.