Mental Health and Mental Disorder
Note that these studies were conducted as part of the Youth and Health programme which formally ceased at the end of March 2010, although team members have continued to prepare publications in this research area.
Given increasing concern about levels of mental health problems among young people, and the very real possibility that their mental health has deteriorated over time, this topic has become a major health priority of governments in the UK and elsewhere in the developed world. This concern is reflected in relation to both minor psychological morbidity, such as psychological distress or depressed mood, and more severe mental health problems or disorders defined by reference to psychiatric criteria.
Much remains to be discovered about the cause of these problems, and in particular what factors underlie the reported deterioration in young people's mental health. This issue occupied a central place in the Unit's Youth Programme, as evidenced by the incorporation of a psychiatric interview into the 11 to 16/16+ study at age 15 (1999). This was a computerized voice version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (Voice-DISC) which produces DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses. The Voice-DISC was utilised again in the 11 to 16/16+ study for 19 year-olds and, in 2006, in selected schools in the PaLS study.
West P, Sweeting H, Young R, Kelly S. The relative importance of family socioeconomic status and school-based peer hierarchies for morning cortisol in youth: an exploratory study. Social Science & Medicine 2010;70:1246-53pubmed open access
West P, Sweeting H, Young R. Transition matters: pupils' experiences of the primary-secondary school transition in the West of Scotland and consequences for well-being and attainment. Research Papers in Education 2010;25:21-50open access
Young R, West P. Do good values lead to good health-behaviours?: longitudinal associations between young people's values and later substance-use. BMC Public Health 2010;10:165pubmed open access
Young R. Trauma, attempted suicide and morning cortisol in a community sample of adolescents. Journal of Traumatic Stress 2010;23:288–291open access
Sweeting H, Young R, West P. GHQ increases among Scottish 15 year olds 1987-2006. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2009;44:579-86pubmed open access
Young R, Sweeting H, West P. A longitudinal study of alcohol use and antisocial behaviour in young people. Alcohol and Alcoholism 2008;43:204-14pubmed open access
Glendinning A, West P. Young people's mental health in context: comparing life in the city and small communities in Siberia. Social Science & Medicine 2007;65:1180-1191pubmed
Young R, van Beinum M, Sweeting H, West P. Young people who self-harm. British Journal of Psychiatry 2007;191:44-49pubmed
Barbour R, Bryce G, Connelly G, Furnivall J, Lewins A, Lockhart E, Phin L, Stallard A, van Beinum M, Wilson P. Only connect: addressing the emotional needs of Scotland's children and young people: a report on the SNAP Child and Adolescent Mental Health phase two survey. Edinburgh, 2006
Harvey D. Behaving badly: psychiatric and sociological perspectives on young people with 'conduct disorder' [PhD], MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 2006.open access
Sweeting H, Young R, West P, Der G. Peer victimization and depression in early-mid adolescence: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology 2006;76:577-594pubmed
Young R, Sweeting H, West P. Prevalence of deliberate self harm and attempted suicide within contemporary Goth youth subculture: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ 2006;332:1058-1061pubmed open access
Sweeting H, Wright C, Minnis H. Psychosocial correlates of obesity, 'slimming down' and 'becoming obese' in adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health 2005;37:409.e9 - 409.e17pubmed
Young R, Sweeting H. Adolescent bullying, relationships, psychological well-being, and gender-atypical behavior: a gender diagnosticity approach. Sex Roles 2004;50:525-537open access
Sweeting H, West P. Sex differences in health at ages 11, 13 and 15. Social Science & Medicine 2003;56:31-39pubmed open access
van Beinum M. Teenage user perspectives of adolescent psychiatry outpatient services [PhD], Medical Faculty 2003.
West P, Sweeting H, Der G, Barton J, Lucas C. Voice-DISC identified DSM-IV disorders among 15 year olds in the West of Scotland. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2003;42:941-949pubmed
West P, Sweeting H. Fifteen, female and stressed: changing patterns of psychological distress over time. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2003;44:399-411pubmed
West P, Sweeting H, Der G. The Voice DISC: a method for ascertaining psychiatric diagnoses in young people in the community. MRC Social and Public Health Science Unit Occasional Paper no. 4, Glasgow, 2000
West P, Sweeting H. Nae job, nae future: young people and health in a context of unemployment. Health & Social Care in the Community 1996;4:50-62
Ford G, Ecob R, Hunt K, Macintyre S, West P. Patterns of class inequality in health through the lifespan: class gradients at 15, 35 and 55 years in the West of Scotland. Social Science & Medicine 1994;39:1037-1050pubmed open access