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  • 1.
    Evans, Brittany
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Beijers, Roseriet
    Radboud University, the Netherlands.
    Hagquist, Curt
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences (from 2013).
    de Weerth, Carolina
    Radboud University, the Netherlands.
    Childhood urbanicity and hair steroid hormone levels in ten-year-old children2019In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 102, p. 53-57Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Research suggests that it may be more stressful for children to grow up in an urban area than in a rural area. Urbanicity may affect physiological stress system functioning as well as the timing of sexual maturation. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether moderate urbanicity (current and childhood, ranging from rural areas to small cities) was associated with indices of long-term hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis functioning (cortisol, cortisone, dehydroepiandrosterone and progesterone levels) and whether sex moderated any associations. Method: Children (N = 92) were all 10 years old and from the Dutch general population. Hair samples were collected and single segments (the three cm most proximal to the scalp) were assayed for concentrations of steroid hormones (LCMS/MS method). Neighborhood-level urbanicity and socioeconomic status were measured from birth through age ten years. Analyses were controlled for neighborhood- and family socioeconomic status, body mass index and season of sampling. Results: The results from multivariate analyses of variance showed no associations between current or childhood moderate urbanicity and hair steroid hormone concentrations. Interaction terms between moderate urbanicity and sex were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Associations between urbanicity and steroid hormone levels may only be detectable in highly urban areas and/or during later stages of adolescence. Alternatively, our findings may have been due to most children being from families with a higher socioeconomic status. 

  • 2.
    Evans, Brittany
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013). Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands, VU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherland.
    Buil, J. M.
    VU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands; Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands.
    Burk, W. J.
    Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands.
    Cillessen, A. H. N.
    Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands.
    van Lier, P. A. C.
    VU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands ; Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands.
    Urbanicity is Associated with Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Elementary School-Aged Children2018In: Journal of Child and Family Studies, ISSN 1062-1024, E-ISSN 1573-2843, Vol. 27, no 7, p. 2193-2205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract: Adults are 38% more likely to suffer from a psychiatric disorder when they live in an urban compared to a rural area. Urban upbringing may be particularly important. The aim of the present study was to examine whether urbanicity was independently associated with mental health in elementary school-aged children. Specifically, we investigated whether living in a more urban area was associated with exhibiting more behavioral and emotional problems, and whether this remained while controlling for other major risk factors for mental health problems in children. Data came from a Dutch general population study of children (n = 895). Information from four waves was used, in which children were aged approximately 8, 9, 11, and 12 years old. We used mixed effects models to assess the association between urbanicity and the outcomes of behavioral problems and emotional problems separately, while controlling for other major risk factors. The analyses showed that children who lived in more urban areas were significantly more likely to exhibit behavioral (p < .001) and emotional (p < .001) problems. This effect remained when controlling for neighborhood socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, family socioeconomic status, parental symptoms of psychopathology, parenting stress, and parenting practices (behavioral: p = .02, emotional: p = .009). In line with research in adults, urbanicity seems to be independently associated with behavioral and emotional problems in children. A possible underlying mechanism is that the city is a stressful environment for children to grow up in, which contributes to an increased risk for mental health problems.

  • 3.
    Hagquist, Curt
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Evans, Brittany
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Kim, Yunhwan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Discrepant trends for adolescent2018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Kim, Yunhwan
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Evans, Brittany
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Hagquist, Curt
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013).
    Towards explaining time trends in adolescents’ alcohol use: A multilevel analysis of Swedish data from 1988 to 20112019In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 729-735Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Alcohol use has decreased among Swedish adolescents in the past few decades. We examined peer and parent factors (i.e., time spent with peers, time spent with parents, and parental monitoring) that could contribute to explaining this trend by investigating their main effects and interaction effects with investigation years on alcohol use. We furthermore examined whether municipality-level socioeconomic conditions could contribute to explaining the trend. Methods: We used data from a repeated cross-sectional study that took place eight times between 1988 and 2011. The study targeted all ninth grade students (15-to-16-year-olds) in Värmland County, Sweden. Adolescents (N = 22,257) reported their monthly alcohol use, time spent with peers and parents, and parental monitoring. Municipality-level socioeconomic conditions were based on parent education levels. Results: Logistic multilevel regression analyses showed that peer and parent factors and municipality-level socioeconomic conditions were associated with alcohol use among adolescents. The interaction effects between peer and parent factors and investigation years were not significant. The decreased trend in time spent with peers was associated with the decreased trend in frequency of alcohol use over time. Conclusion: The findings of the current study provide an indication that the decreased trend in alcohol use that has been observed in Swedish adolescents over the past few decades may be related to changes in adolescents’ social interactions with peers.

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