Examining psychological problems in adolescents: the associations with flourishing, resilience and social support
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Background: Compared to ten years ago, the percentage of young people between 12 and 25 years old reporting psychological problems has increased significantly from 7% to 8% (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, 2018). Psychological problems can result in numerous short- and long-term problems. Therefore, it is of importance to examine potential protective factors. Aim: Protective factors associated with psychological problems are amongst other things flourishing, resilience and social support. The present study aims to further examine the associations between these potential prospective factors and psychological problems. In addition, the moderating effect of gender within these associations is assessed. Methods: Data from the national representative Dutch Sentinel Study is used (N = 5,398), including adolescents aged 12-16 (M = 14.45, SD =1.34). Results: Results of the multivariate regression model indicate that flourishing and resilience are both associated with a decrease in psychological problems. Contrary to what was expected, social support was not significantly associated with psychological problems. When taking gender into account, the association between flourising and psychological problems appeared stronger for girls compared to boys. Conclusion: Flourishing and resilience function as protective factors for psychological problems. Further research is needed to confirm and further clarify the stronger association between flourishing and psychological problems, especially for girls.