, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 446-453

School factors and the emergence of depressive symptoms among young Norwegian adolescents

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Abstract

The aims of this study were to examine correlates of self-reported depressive symptoms within the school area, and possible predictors of change in depressive symptom levels over a 1-year period in a large representative sample of 12 to 15-year-old adolescents in central Norway. The school variables were: school stress, class wellbeing, teacher support, and grades. Possible confounding factors were age, SES, ethnicity, and parental divorce. We also examined the strengths of these relationships. In the cross-sectional multivariate analyses of the whole sample, at time-point one (T1), all four school factors were independently associated with depressive symptom levels at small to moderate levels. In the longitudinal multivariate analyses of the whole sample, self-reported depressive symptom levels at time-point two (T2) were predicted by depressive symptom levels at T1, gender and teacher support. For girls, three of the school variables significantly predicted depressive symptom levels at T2, while this was not the case for boys. Prevention in schools might be of importance.