Religious harmony/disharmony and mental health in pre-adolescents and adolescents

The TRAILS study

  • Willeke van der Jagt Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zwolle, The Netherlands
  • Margreet R. de Vries-Schot GGZ Christoph, Mental Health Care, Deventer, The Netherlands
  • Patricia A.M. van Deurzen Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Helen Klip Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Jan K. Buitelaar 1. Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2. Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Abstract

Background. TRAILS is a prospective cohort study of Dutch youth, from pre-adolescence (10-12 year) to adolescence (18-21 year). This study examines whether religious differences between parents (harmony parents), between pre-adolescents and their mothers (harmony pre-adolescent/mother) or fathers (harmony pre-adolescent/father), and between pre-adolescents and school (harmony pre-adolescent/school), represent a risk factor for the mental health problems, measured by internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors in pre-adolescence and in adolescence.


Methods. Mental health problems in a sample of 2230 youngsters (49.2% boys) were assessed using self-report: in pre-adolescence with the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and in adolescence with the Adult Self Report (ASR). Repeated measure ANOVA analyses were performed with internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors as dependent variables, time (pre-adolescence, adolescence) as within factor, and the four harmony variables as independent factors.


Results. The variables harmony parents, harmony pre-adolescent/father, and harmony pre-adolescent/school were not associated with internalizing or externalizing problems, whereas the variable harmony pre-adolescent/mother was significantly associated with internalizing problems in pre-adolescence and adolescence (partial ŋ2=0.05). Pre-adolescents had more internalizing problems when there was religious dysbalance (=being different religious) rather than religious harmony and non-religious harmony between adolescents and their mothers. Further, there was a significant two-way interaction between harmony pre-adolescent/mother and time, indicating externalizing problem behavior in connection with harmony pre-adolescent/mother decreased with time, as the child developed from pre-adolescence to adolescence. Effects were similar for boys and girls.


Conclusions. The harmony pre-adolescent/mother variable was the only one that was weakly associated with internalizing problem behavior. This suggests that this variable is somewhat more sensitive than other harmony measures in connection with problem behavior. 

Author Biographies

Willeke van der Jagt, Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Margreet R. de Vries-Schot, GGZ Christoph, Mental Health Care, Deventer, The Netherlands

GGZ Christoph, Mental Health Care, Deventer, The Netherlands

Patricia A.M. van Deurzen, Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Helen Klip, Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Jan K. Buitelaar, 1. Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2. Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands

1. Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2. Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience

Published
2018-03-15
How to Cite
JAGT, Willeke van der et al. Religious harmony/disharmony and mental health in pre-adolescents and adolescents. Archives of Psychology, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 3, mar. 2018. ISSN 2573-7902. Available at: <https://archivesofpsychology.org/index.php/aop/article/view/42>. Date accessed: 17 sep. 2019.
Section
Research Articles

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