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Changing AdolescenceSocial Trends and Mental Health$
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Ann Hagell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447301042

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447301042.001.0001

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Stress and mental health in adolescence: interrelationship and time trends

Stress and mental health in adolescence: interrelationship and time trends

(p.27) Three Stress and mental health in adolescence: interrelationship and time trends
Changing Adolescence

Ann Hagell

Seija Sandberg

Robert Macdonald

Policy Press

This chapter asks whether the increase in adolescent mental health problems has been accompanied by an increase in stress. Commentators have tended to use the evidence of rising levels of anxiety and depression as evidence that stress has risen, but this confuses mental health and stress and creates a tautology. This chapter unpicks some of the conceptual and research challenges in this area, and concludes that stress is a particularly salient construct in adolescence that is clearly related to mental health outcomes. However, despite widespread assumptions, there are no good, repeated surveys of adolescent stressors in the UK over the last three decades, and much of the material on stress simply buys into the zeitgeist rather than challenging it. Implications for further research are provided.

Keywords:   Adolescence, Stress, Mental health, Puberty, Family processes, Psychological processes, Resilience

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