The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
Low mood is experienced by 18.6% of adolescents, according to a study carried out by the Epi4Health interuniversity research group involving the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), the Manresa campus of the University of Vic—Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Based on data from the DESKcohort project led by UManresa, which studies the health and health-related behaviors of thousands of adolescent school children in central Catalonia, the researchers found that the prevalence of low mood is clearly unequal, affecting 11.6% of boys and 25.1% of girls.
The research, which has been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, was led by Helena González Casals, a member of the teaching staff at UManresa, a researcher at UVic-UCC and a Ph.D. student at the UOC on the Doctoral Program in Health and Psychology, supervised by Marina Bosque, the principal investigator of the Epi4Health group in the UOC’s Faculty of Health Sciences, affiliated to the eHealth Center, and Albert Espelt at the UAB.
“We observed gender inequalities in mental health among adolescents, with low mood 2.2 times more common among girls than among boys, and 36% of this difference is explained by social determinants and health behaviors,” said Dr. Bosque. The research was carried out using data from the DESKcohort project, which is based on a survey on health behavior that is performed in public and private secondary schools in central Catalonia every two years. The program began in the 2019/2020 academic year and collected data from 6,428 adolescents between 12 and 18 years old.
The researchers indicated that the primary reasons for these gender differences are contextual factors that are also related to mood, such as sexual violence, physical activity levels, being an immigrant, dieting, smoking, and alcohol consumption.