Psychosocial aspects of health in adolescence: the influence of gender, and general self-concept

J Adolesc Health. 2005 Jun;36(6):530. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.10.006.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe age and gender differences in psychosocial aspects of health in adolescents. A further aim was to explore if self-rated behavior problems varied with the adolescents' general self-concept and sense of coherence.

Methods: Questionnaires on self-rated psychosocial aspects of health were answered by 282 (n = 282/390) randomly selected adolescents, aged 13-22 years (M 17.9/18.0). The instruments used were "I think I am (ITIA)," "Youth Self Report (YSR)," "Sense of coherence (SOC)," and "Family APGAR." Differences between males and females (cross-individual grouping) were analyzed using nonparametric tests. A cluster analysis was performed using a three-cluster solution to identify and describe profiles (person-centered grouping).

Results: Compared with males, adolescent females scored less favorably on self-esteem (ITIA) (p = .028), reported more behavior problems (YSR) (p = .000), and showed a lower sense of coherence (SOC) (p = .003). The differences were most evident in the age group 15-17 years. The three clusters significantly differed from each other regarding how high proportions of problems the adolescents of each profile reported.

Conclusions: Compared with male adolescents, adolescent females experienced a poorer psychosocial health in somatic, depressive, and internalizing areas. The result indicated that psychological factors had a major impact on the proportions of problems that the adolescents reported.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Identification
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden