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Investigating the gender gap in depression among Swedish adolescents
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Research shows that women report more depression than men, with the ratio 2:1. This gender gap in depression is a well-established phenomenon in current research, but how this is manifested and the reasons for it is still unclear. Also, little research on this phenomenon has been done on adolescents in a normal population, why this study is called for. The purpose of this study is to examine the gender gap in how Swedish adolescents score depression. This is done through two aims; (1) determine whether there is a difference in the current data on how girls and boys report depression on a general level and on a symptom level and; (2) examine whether or to what extent different factors (anger, substance use, social support and physical activity) can predict depression among girls and boys respectively. Data from high school students (N= 527, 13 - 19 years old) was collected using self-report measurements. The following were used; Beck’s Youth Inventory (BYI), Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, Youth version (MADRS-S-Y) and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and a Substance use and exposure scale. Independent t-test and multiple linear regression were used to statistically analyze the data. The result shows that there is a significant difference in how girls and boys score depression on a general level, where girls score higher. Girls score higher on 16/20 items on BYI Depression and on 5/12 items on MADRS-S-Y. On the remaining items there are no significant differences. The result also shows that anger and social support predict depression in girls while anger and substance use predict depression in boys. Future research can focus more on the common depression symptoms in girls and boys, such as anger, in order to detect more adolescents with depression.

Abstract [sv]

Tidigare forskning visar att kvinnor rapporterar depression i högre utsträckning än män med en ratio på 2:1. Detta fenomen är välbeforskat men mindre forskning är gjort på hur denna skillnad manifesteras och orsaken till skillnaden. Lite forskning är gjord på ungdomar i en normalpopulation, vilket visar på behovet av denna studie. I denna studie undersöks könsskillnaden i hur svenska ungdomar skattar depression. Detta genom att besvara två syften: (1) först undersöks om en könsskillnad kan fastslås och hur den i sådana fall manifesterar sig hos tjejer och killar på generell nivå och på symtomnivå, (2) sedan hur olika faktorer (ilska, alkohol- och droganvändning, socialt stöd samt fysisk aktivitet) kan predicera depression hos tjejer och killar. Data från gymnasieungdomar (N= 527, 13 - 19 år) samlades in genom självskattningsformulär. Skalor från dessa skattningsformulär användes; Becks ungdomsskalor (BUS), Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, Youth version (MADRS-S-Y) och en skala som mäter alkohol- och droganvändning. Den statistiska analysen genomfördes med independent t-test och multipel regressionsanalys. Resultatet visar att det finns en signifikant skillnad mellan hur tjejer och killar skattar depression på en generell nivå, där tjejer skattar högre. Tjejer skattar signifikant högre än killar på 16/20 items på BUS - Depression och 5/12 items på MADRS-S-Y, på resterande items finns ingen signifikant skillnad mellan tjejer och killar. Resultatet visar också att ilska och socialt stöd predicerar depression hos tjejer medan ilska och alkohol- och droganvändning hos killar. Framtida forskning kan fokusera mer på likheter i depression bland tjejer och killar, exempelvis ilska, för att i framtiden upptäcka fler ungdomar med depression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 21
Keywords [en]
Depression, Gender, Adolescents, Anger, Substance use, Social support, Peer relations, Family relations, Physical activity
Keywords [sv]
Depression, Kön, Genus, Ungdomar, Ilska, Alkohol, Droger, Socialt stöd, Kamratrelationer, Familjerelationer, Fysisk aktivitet
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-159719OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-159719DiVA, id: diva2:1320167
External cooperation
Klinisk Vetenskap, Umeå Universitet
Educational program
Study Programme for University Diploma in Psychology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-04 Created: 2019-06-04 Last updated: 2019-06-04Bibliographically approved

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