Complex symptomatology among young women who present with stress-related problems
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 29, no 2, 234-247 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Introduction: In Scandinavia and globally, mental health and stress-related problems among adolescent girls and young women are public health concerns that need attention. The aim of this study was to investigate mental health and somatic symptoms with a special focus on internalized problems, self-image, and body-mind aspects of body perception in a group of adolescent girls and young women presenting with stress-related problems at a youth-friendly Swedish health center, and to compare them with normative and clinical reference groups.
Methods: The participants were 47 adolescent girls and young women, aged 17 to 25 years. The Adult Self Report (ASR), Social Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) and Body Perception Questionnaire (BPQ) were used to measure multiple symptom areas.
Results: Compared to reference groups, adolescent girls and young women report complex symptomatology with high levels of internalized problems such as anxiousness, depression, and somatic complaints. This manifested in attention problems, negative self-image, and perceived bodily discomfort and distrust.
Adolescent girls and young women emerging into adulthood present complex symptomatology of stress-related problems. This study gathered valuable information about their symptoms when they were seeking help. These young women showed higher symptom frequency than normative groups, and similar or higher symptom frequency than other clinical groups. Our findings of internalised and cognitive problems, including impaired self-image and body perceptions, point to the need for preventive strategies and tailored multidisciplinary interventions involving body-based methods to meet this complexity. Using tenets of stress theory, the complex symptomatology may be understood as logical responses to overwhelming stimuli and demands that exceed their ability to cope and disturb their ‘equilibrium’. However, the complex gendered interplays between various external/internal stressors and a broad range of stress responses and health outcomes need further study in a long-term perspective.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 29, no 2, 234-247 p.
mental health, stress, anxiety, adolescents, self-image, body image, body perception, physiotherapy
stress, psykisk ohälsa, psykosomatiska symtom, ungdomar, kropp, genus
Research subject genusvetenskap; Psychiatry; Physiotherapy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88763DOI: 10.1111/scs.12154ISI: 000354260700005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-88763DiVA: diva2:717262
FunderSwedish Research Council, 521-2005-4848Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2006 – 1512