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  • 1.
    Evans, Brittany
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Beijers, Roseriet
    Radboud University, the Netherlands.
    Hagquist, Curt
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013), Institutionen för hälsovetenskaper (from 2013).
    de Weerth, Carolina
    Radboud University, the Netherlands.
    Childhood urbanicity and hair steroid hormone levels in ten-year-old children2019Ingår i: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 102, s. 53-57Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (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 Children2018Ingår i: Journal of Child and Family Studies, ISSN 1062-1024, E-ISSN 1573-2843, Vol. 27, nr 7, s. 2193-2205Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.
    Evans, Brittany
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Huizink, A. C.
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Högskolan i Skövde.
    Greaves-Lord, K.
    Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
    Tulen, J. H. M.
    Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
    Roelofs, K.
    Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
    van der Ende, J.
    Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
    Urbanicity, biological stress system functioning and mental health in adolescents2020Ingår i: PLoS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 15, nr 3, artikel-id e0228659Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Growing up in an urban area has been associated with an increased chance of mental health problems in adults, but less is known about this association in adolescents. We examined whether current urbanicity was associated with mental health problems directly and indirectly via biological stress system functioning. Participants (n = 323) were adolescents from the Dutch general population. Measures included home and laboratory assessments of autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning, neighborhood-level urbanicity and socioeconomic status, and mother- and adolescent self-reported mental health problems. Structural equation models showed that urbanicity was not associated with mental health problems directly. Urbanicity was associated with acute autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity such that adolescents who lived in more urban areas showed blunted biological stress reactivity. Furthermore, there was some evidence for an indirect effect of urbanicity on mother-reported behavioral problems via acute autonomic nervous system reactivity. Urbanicity was not associated with overall autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity or basal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning. Although we observed some evidence for associations between urbanicity, biological stress reactivity and mental health problems, most of the tested associations were not statistically significant. Measures of long-term biological stress system functioning may be more relevant to the study of broader environmental factors such as urbanicity.

  • 4.
    Evans, Brittany
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Kim, Yunhwan
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Hagquist, Curt
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    A latent class analysis of changes in adolescent substance use between 1988 and 2011 in Sweden: associations with sex and psychosomatic problemsIngår i: Addiction, ISSN 0965-2140, E-ISSN 1360-0443Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims To characterize changes in patterns of adolescent substance use in Sweden between 1988 and 2011, and to assess whether sex and psychosomatic problems were associated with substance use and whether these associations changed over time. Design Secondary analysis of repeated cross-sectional survey data. Survey data were collected eight times and analyzed as four cohorts (1988-91, 1995-98, 2002-05 and 2008-11). Setting and participants The sample included all 15-16-year-olds in Varmland County, Sweden (n = 20 057). Measurements Binary-coded substance use measures included life-time use of alcohol and tobacco, getting drunk and past school year use of inhalants. An eight-item scale was used to assess psychosomatic problems. Findings A three-class model fitted the data best (i.e. non/low use, mainly alcohol use and polysubstance use). The patterns of substance use were different among cohorts; most notably, adolescents in the last cohort had lower odds of being included in the alcohol and polysubstance use classes rather than the non/low use class than in the earlier cohorts (all Ps < 0.001). Males had higher odds than females of being in the polysubstance use class rather than the non/low use class among the first three cohorts (all Ps < 0.001) but not the last. Sex was not associated with inclusion in the alcohol use class rather than the non/low use class. Adolescents who reported more psychosomatic problems had higher odds of being included in the alcohol and polysubstance use classes rather than the non/low use class (all Ps < 0.001). The associations of sex and psychosomatic problems with class inclusion did not change during the study period. Conclusions Between 1988 and 2011, patterns of substance use among adolescents in Sweden shifted away from polysubstance use and alcohol use to non-use or low use. Associations between patterns of substance use and sex and psychosomatic problems remained largely consistent across the study period.

  • 5.
    Evans, Brittany
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013). Radboud University, NL.
    Van Der Ende, J.
    Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
    Greaves-Lord, K.
    Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
    Huizink, A. C.
    Vrije University Amsterdam.
    Beijers, R.
    Radboud University, NL.
    De Weerth, C.
    Radboud University, NL.
    Urbanicity, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning, and behavioral and emotional problems in children: A path analysis2020Ingår i: BMC Psychology, E-ISSN 2050-7283, Vol. 8, nr 1, artikel-id 12Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Urbanization is steadily increasing worldwide. Previous research indicated a higher incidence of mental health problems in more urban areas, however, very little is known regarding potential mechanisms underlying this association. We examined whether urbanicity was associated with mental health problems in children directly, and indirectly via hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis functioning. Methods: Utilizing data from two independent samples of children we examined the effects of current urbanicity (n = 306, ages seven to 12 years) and early childhood urbanicity (n = 141, followed from birth through age 7 years). Children's mothers reported on their mental health problems and their family's socioeconomic status. Salivary cortisol samples were collected during a psychosocial stress procedure to assess HPA axis reactivity to stress, and at home to assess basal HPA axis functioning. Neighborhood-level urbanicity and socioeconomic conditions were extracted from Statistics Netherlands. Path models were estimated using a bootstrapping procedure to detect indirect effects. Results: We found no evidence for a direct effect of urbanicity on mental health problems, nor were there indirect effects of urbanicity through HPA axis functioning. Furthermore, we did not find evidence for an effect of urbanicity on HPA axis functioning or effects of HPA axis functioning on mental health problems. Conclusions: Possibly, the effects of urbanicity on HPA axis functioning and mental health do not manifest until adolescence. An alternative explanation is a buffering effect of high family socioeconomic status as the majority of children were from families with an average or high socioeconomic status. Further studies remain necessary to conclude that urbanicity does not affect children's mental health via HPA axis functioning.

  • 6.
    Hagquist, Curt
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Evans, Brittany
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Kim, Yunhwan
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Discrepant trends for adolescent2018Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 7.
    Kim, Yunhwan
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Evans, Brittany
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Hagquist, Curt
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013), Centrum för forskning om barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa (from 2013).
    Towards explaining time trends in adolescents’ alcohol use: A multilevel analysis of Swedish data from 1988 to 20112019Ingår i: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 29, nr 4, s. 729-735Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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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