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Browsing by Author "Grönroos, Jenny"

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  • Grönroos, Jenny (2014)
    Objectives: Overweight is a common health problem in children, adolescents and adults. Its effects on somatic well-being are well known, but the knowledge of its relationship with mental health is contradictory. The connections are likely to be stronger in studies that have studied adolescents who are receiving treatment to obesity. It is important to study what kinds of risk factors there are for psychiatric symptoms and substance use in adolescence and early adulthood. This master's thesis studies whether overweight and obesity are in connection with psychiatric symptoms and substance use in adolescents and young adults who have received treatment to obesity in childhood. Methods: This study is a part of Elintavat ja luusto nuorilla (ELLU) research project. The patient group consisted of adolescents and young adults who have received treatment to severe or morbid obesity in childhood. The control group consisted of normal weight adolescents and young adults of a similar age. The study involved 42 14-19-year-old adolescents (22 patients, 20 controls) and 62 17-24-year-old young adults (27 patients, 35 controls). Information about psychiatric symptoms and substance use was collected using the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and the Adult Self-Report (ASR) assessment forms. The data was analyzed using covariance analysis, linear regression analysis and logistic regression analysis. Results and conclusions: The overweight and obese adolescents had more total problems, internalizing problems, somatic problems, attention problems and social problems. Gender was significant in social problems: overweight and obese girls had more social problems than normal weight girls, but among boys there were not differences between the groups. In young adults overweight and obesity were not in connection with psychiatric symptoms. Gender had no importance in this connection. The overweight and obese young adults had 3.77-fold increased risk of smoking compared to normal weight young adults. Overweight and obesity are thus connected to psychiatric symptoms in adolescence and tobacco smoking in early adulthood. Conclusions about causality cannot be drawn based on this study. Information about overweight's and obesity's connections with mental health and substance use may help in treatment planning. It may as well increase the desire to draw attention to overweight children and adolescents early enough.