Older Adolescents With Physical and Mental Illnesses Have Lowest Self-Perceptions

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

The combination of physical and mental illness had a negative impact on self-perception among older adolescents but not for younger ones, shows a new University of Waterloo study.

Researchers found that compared to adolescents with a physical illness only, their self-concept—the image we have of ourselves—was lower, but that was not the case for younger adolescents.

“Roughly 25% of the adolescent population in Canada have a physical illness, and adolescence is already a time where mental illness is at increased risk,” said Dr. Mark Ferro, a researcher in the School of Public Health Sciences and Canada Research Chair in Youth Mental Health. “We know that adolescents with a physical illness tend to have lower self-concept, but this study shows that it’s even worse for adolescents with co-existing physical and mental illnesses.”

In the study, researchers used data from the ongoing Multimorbidity in Children and Youth across the Life-course (MY LIFE), a prospective study of children and adolescents with diagnosed physical illnesses and their parents. The 116 adolescents in the study sample averaged 13 years of age, and 60% were male. More than 86% were white, and 18% were children of immigrant parents.

The study, “Self-concept in Adolescents with Physical-Mental Comorbidity,” was published in the Journal of Multimorbidity and Co-Morbidity.

“This study shows us that there are a great many youths in need of support,” Ferro said. “Health-care providers and parents need to find opportunities to assess self-concept and support positive self-perceptions for these adolescents, especially when planning the transition from pediatric to adult health services.”

Source: MedicalXpress

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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