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Well-being, mental health problems, and alcohol experiences among young Swedish adolescents: A general population study

Journal article
Authors Karin Boson
Kristina Berglund
Peter Wennberg
Claudia Fahlke
Published in Journal for Person-Oriented Research
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 123-134
ISSN 2002-0244
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 123-134
Language en
Links doi.org/10.17505/jpor.2016.12
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/207446
Keywords alcohol debut, alcohol experiences, externalizing problems, internalizing problems, gender differences, mental well-being, person-oriented analyses, young adolescents
Subject categories Applied Psychology

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate patterns of self-reported emotional and behavioral problems and self-rated well-being in relation to alcohol experiences among Swedish girls and boys in early adolescence. A general sample of 1383 young people aged 12 to 13 years reported their internalizing and externalizing problem styles, and their well-being and alcohol experiences were measured. Person-oriented analyses were applied to the data to determine specific mental health configurations (“types”) that occurred more frequently than expected by chance. Externalizing problems, in contrast to internalizing problems, occurred more commonly in adolescents who reported a high degree of well-being. Girls with low well-being and mental health problems were overrepresented among those with alcohol experiences. Findings suggest that gender and positive psychology perspectives should be taken into account when describing and explaining mental health among adolescents, especially adolescents with an early alcohol debut.

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