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Von Soest T.,University of Oslo | Von Soest T.,Norwegian Social Research | Wichstrom L.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology | Year: 2014

Several survey studies among adolescents have shown increasing rates of depressive symptoms over the last two to three decades. We know however little about mechanisms that might explain this increase. The present study uses data from three nationwide representative surveys of 16-17 year-old Norwegian adolescents that were conducted according to identical procedures in 1992, 2002, and 2010 (response rates 97.0, 91.0, 84.3 %, respectively). At each time point, approximately 3,000 adolescents participated (48.8 % girls and 51.2 % boys). Questionnaire data on depressive symptoms and a variety of potential risk and protective factors that might explain time trends in such symptoms were assessed at all time points. The results showed that the prevalence of high scores on depressive symptoms increased significantly between 1992 and 2002 among both boys and girls. No significant changes were observed between 2002 and 2010. The increase from 1992 to 2002 among girls and boys could be partially attributed to increases in eating problems and cannabis use, while reduced satisfaction with own appearance among girls contributed as well. Although the study does not provide information about the causal direction between putative risk factors and depressive symptoms, the results provide some indication that eating problems, cannabis use, and appearance related factors may contribute in explaining secular trends in depressive symptoms. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


von Soest T.,University of Oslo | von Soest T.,Norwegian Social Research | Pedersen W.,University of Oslo
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2014

Introduction: The hardening hypothesis states that with the declining prevalence and growing social disapproval of smoking, remaining smokers are more unwilling and unable to quit as well as increasingly characterized by low socioeconomic status and psychiatric comorbidity. However, few studies have examined whether such characteristics do in fact change in tandem with substantially decreased smoking prevalence. Methods: Two nationwide population-based surveys of 16- to 17-year-old Norwegian adolescents were conducted according to identical procedures in 2002 and 2010. In 2002, 3,438 students participated while 2,813 did so in 2010, yielding response rates of 91.0% and 83.2%, respectively. Data on smoking behavior and a variety of psychosocial variables were obtained. Results: The prevalence of daily smoking dropped from 23.7% in 2002 to 7.0% in 2010. The association between smoking and parental characteristics, adjustment to school, and social integration also shifted, indicating smokers to be more socially disadvantaged in 2010 than 2002. However, no changes in the relationship between smoking and mental health or use of substances such as alcohol and cannabis were found, nor did the number of cigarettes smoked by daily smokers differ between 2002 and 2010. Conclusions: The results support the hardening hypothesis, as smokers became increasingly socially disadvantaged with decreasing smoking prevalence. However, despite reduced prevalence of smoking and growing stigmatization, neither greater psychological distress nor increased substance use among adolescent daily smokers was observed. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.


Wichstrom L.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | von Soest T.,Norwegian Social Research | von Soest T.,University of Oslo | Kvalem I.L.,University of Oslo
Health Psychology | Year: 2013

Objective: To study the predictors of change in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) from adolescence to young adulthood. Method: A nationally representative sample of 3,251 Norwegian students between 12 and 19 years of age were initially surveyed, and follow-up surveys were conducted three times over a 13-year period. The initial response rate was 97%, and retention rates for the three follow-up sessions were 92%, 84%, and 82%, respectively. Four groups of predictors were assessed: sociodemographics, such as gender, age, parental socioeconomic status, pubertal status, and grades; previous LTPA, such as the amount of LTPA and sports club membership; athletic self-concept and depressive symptoms; and other health behaviors, such as smoking, dieting, and body mass. Autoregressive cross-lagged analyses were supplemented with latent growth-curve analyses. Results: Membership in a sports club and a positive athletic self-concept in adolescence predicted a high level of LTPA in adulthood, whereas smoking tobacco, high BMI, and depressive symptoms in adolescence predicted low levels of LTPA. Conclusions: Engaging adolescents in organized sports and enhancing adolescents' athletic self-concept may increase the number of adults who are physically active. Preventive efforts to reduce tobacco consumption, obesity, and depression in adolescence may also contribute to an increase in adult LTPA. ©2012 American Psychological Association.


Von Soest T.,University of Oslo | Von Soest T.,Norwegian Social Research | Wichstrom L.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
International Journal of Eating Disorders | Year: 2014

Objective This study examines secular trends in eating problems among adolescents between 1992 and 2010. The study aims further to investigate whether such trends can be accounted for by secular changes in putative risk factors. Method Three nationwide surveys of Norwegian senior high-school students were conducted in 1992, 2002, and 2010 (response rates 97.0, 91.0, and 83.2%). At each time point, approximately 3,000 adolescents participated. Eating problems were assessed by means of the Dieting and the Bulimia and Food Preoccupation subscales of the Eating Attitude Test-12. Moreover, a variety of potential risk factors that might account for time trends in such problems were measured. Results Dieting scores increased almost linearly for both genders during the research period. No differences over time in Bulimia and Food Preoccupation scores were seen among boys, whereas these symptoms peaked in 2002 for girls with considerably lower levels in both 1992 and 2010. The increase in Dieting from 1992 to 2010 for both genders could be attributed in part to increasing body mass index levels and, to a lesser degree, to depressive symptoms among females. The girls' time trend in Bulimia and Food Preoccupation was to some extent related to changes in appearance satisfaction, alcohol intoxication, and global self-worth. Discussion This study is one of few to statistically examine how secular trends in eating problems are related to changes in putative risk factors. The study does not however provide conclusive information on the causal direction between putative risk factors and eating problems. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Abebe D.S.,Minority | Abebe D.S.,Norwegian Social Research | Lien L.,University of Oslo | Hjelde K.H.,Minority
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health | Year: 2014

Mental health problems have been regarded as one of the main public health challenges of immigrants in several countries. Understanding and generating research-based knowledge on immigrant health problems is highly relevant for planning preventive interventions, as well as guiding social and policy actions. This review aims to map the available knowledge on immigrants' mental health status and its associated risk factors in Norway. The reviewed literature about mental health problems among immigrant populations in Norway was found through databases, such as PUBMED, EMBASE, PsychINFO and MEDLINE. About 41 peer-reviewed original articles published since 1990s were included. In the majority of the studies, the immigrant populations, specifically adult immigrants from low and middle income countries, have been found with a higher degree of mental health problems compared to Norwegians and the general population. Increased risk for mental illness is primarily linked to a higher risk for acculturative stress, poor social support, deprived socioeconomic conditions, multiple negative life events, experiences of discrimination and traumatic pre-migration experiences. However, research in this field has been confronted by a number of gaps and methodological challenges. The available knowledge indicates a need for preventive interventions. Correspondingly, it strongly recommends a comprehensive research program that addresses gaps and methodological challenges. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Brunborg G.S.,Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research | Mentzoni R.A.,University of Bergen | Froyland L.R.,Norwegian Social Research
Journal of Behavioral Addictions | Year: 2014

Background and aims: While the relationships between video game use and negative consequences are debated, the relationships between video game addiction and negative consequences are fairly well established. However, previous studies suffer from methodological weaknesses that may have caused biased results. There is need for further investigation that benefits from the use of methods that avoid omitted variable bias. Methods: Two wave panel data was used from two surveys of 1,928 Norwegian adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. The surveys included measures of video game use, video game addiction, depression, heavy episodic drinking, academic achievement, and conduct problems. The data was analyzed using first-differencing, a regression method that is unbiased by time invariant individual factors. Results: Video game addiction was related to depression, lower academic achievement, and conduct problems, but time spent on video games was not related to any of the studied negative outcomes. Discussion: The findings were in line with a growing number of studies that have failed to find relationships between time spent on video games and negative outcomes. The current study is also consistent with previous studies in that video game addiction was related to other negative outcomes, but it made the added contribution that the relationships are unbiased by time invariant individual effects. However, future research should aim at establishing the temporal order of the supposed causal effects. Conclusions: Spending time playing video games does not involve negative consequences, but adolescents who experience problems related to video games are likely to also experience problems in other facets of life. © 2014 Akadémiai Kiadó.


Jakobsson N.,Gothenburg University | Jakobsson N.,Norwegian Social Research | Kotsadam A.,Gothenburg University
Journal of European Social Policy | Year: 2010

Using survey data from Norway and Sweden, we assess people's attitudes toward gender equality. Previous studies argue that these attitudes are more egalitarian in Sweden than in Norway. Similar to previous research, we find that Swedes are more positive towards gender equality in general. However, we find no differences regarding views on egalitarian sharing of household responsibilities, and Norwegians are actually more supportive of government intervention to increase gender equality. This suggests that the lower support for gender equality in Norway is not as clear-cut as previously thought and that active state intervention to improve gender equality may be even more feasible in Norway than in Sweden. © The Author(s), 2010.


Lingsom S.,Norwegian Social Research
Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research | Year: 2012

The present article takes a phenomenological approach to the study of disability in the social setting of public space. It is an autobiographical account. The introspective methodology expands the already contested field of illness narratives in qualitative research. Three major themes are addressed: accessibility of public space; routines for managing with functional limitations; and inner dialogues of being on display for self and others. Moral and emotional reflections over acquired impairment and over 'successful' managing of impairment are discussed within conceptual frameworks of embodied consciousness, fluidity of movement, and staring. In this case study of body-space relations, enabling moments are primarily experienced and sought in terms of the 'absent' body. Disabling moments are to be found in physical and emotional barriers to navigating space and in self-surveillance. Ongoing oscillation between enabling and disabling states of mind is experienced. © 2012 Copyright Nordic Network on Disability Research.


Wollscheid S.,Norwegian Social Research | Eriksen J.,Norwegian Social Research | Hallvik J.,Norwegian Social Research
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences | Year: 2013

Objectives: This study explores the provision of home care services (home nursing and domiciliary help) for the elderly in Norwegian municipalities with purchaser-provider split model. The study draws on the assumption that flexibility in adjusting services to the care receivers' needs, and cooperation between provider and purchasers are indicators of good quality of care. Data and Methods: Data were collected through semi-structured telephone interviews with 22 team leaders of provider units in nine municipalities. Data were collected in 2008-2009. The study has been approved by the Norwegian Social Science Data Services. Findings: We identified four different ways of organising home care services under a purchaser-provider split model: Provider empowerment, New Public Management, Vague instructions and undermining the rules. High flexibility in providing care and cooperation with the purchaser unit were identified by the team leaders as characteristics for good care. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the care providers use individual strategies that allow flexibility and cooperation rather than rigidly abiding to the regulations the purchaser-provider split models implies. Ironically, in provider units where the 'rules were undermined', the informants (team leaders of provider units) seemed to be most satisfied with the quality of home care that they delivered. © 2012 Nordic College of Caring Science.


Seippel O.,Norwegian Social Research | Strandbu A.,Norwegian Social Research
Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift | Year: 2012

In September 2010, a Nature Index giving information on status and trends in biodiversity in nine larger ecosystems in Norway was presented. In the article, the authors ask how Norwegian youth politicians framed, i.e. articulated, the topic of biodiversity after being introduced to this new information. To answer this question, focus group interviews were conducted with leading youth politicians in the six largest political parties in Norway. A first finding was that knowledge of and interest in biodiversity at the outset was relatively low. In general, the interviews were structured along three dimensions. First, there was a general discussion about nature and biodiversity. Second, biodiversity was discussed in a political context in terms of state versus market, and local versus national and international politics. Finally, the role of science was discussed. In general terms, the study found that biodiversity as an issue is only to a limited extent able to influence established political opinions (no resonance), but is itself adapted to fit established ideologies (master frames). © 2012 Copyright Norwegian Geographical Society.

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