Anxiety, depression, and peer relationships during adolescence: Results from the Portuguese national health behaviour in school-aged children survey

  • Margarida Gaspar de Matos
  • Paula Barrett
  • Mark Dadds
  • Alison Shortt


Use data from the Portuguese HBSC (Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children) survey, which was conducted by one of the authors who is the national representative of the European Study HBSC, a World Health Organisation collaborative study (Currie, Hurrelmann, Setterbulte, Smith, & Todd, 2000; Matos, Simões, Carvalhosa, Reis & Canha 2000), to examine correlates of depression and anxiety in a large, representative sample of adolescents. The study had four aims: (1) to examine the relationship between feelings of anxiety and depression; (2) to examine the association of positive peer relationships, and anxiety and depression in school-age adolescents; (3) to examine the relationship between health, peer relationships, depression and anxiety; and finally, (4) to assess age and gender differences with regard to the above issues. Measures were constructed of depression, anxiety, peer relationships, and health. Consistent with previous studies, anxiety and depression were found to be significantly correlated. A MANOVA revealed that females and adolescents in grades 8 and 10 were more likely to report high anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. High anxiety and depression in adolescence was associated with poor peer relationships and poorer health. Implications of these results and directions for further research are discussed.

Key words

Adolescents Anxiety Depression Health Peers 


Pour ce travail nous avons utilisé les données de Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Survey, étude qui a été conduite au Portugal par un des autheurs, étant la representante nationalle de l’étude Européenne HBSC, une étude de collaboration avec l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (Currie, Hurrelmann, Setterbulte, Smith, & Todd, 2000; Matos, Simões, Carvalhosa, Reis, & Canha 2000). Le but de cette étude est d’examimer les correlates de la dépression et de l’anxieté dans un échantillon representatif d’adolescents. L’étude a quatre objectifs: (1) examiner le rapport entre le sentiment de dépression et d’anxieté; (2) examiner l’association entre un rapport social positif avec les copains, et l’anxieté et la dépression chez les adolescents; (3) examiner le rapport entre santé, rapport social avec les copains, dépression et anxieté; (4) évaluer des difference d’âge et sexe a propos des thèmes énoncés. Nous avons contruit des mesures de dépression, anxieté, rapport avec les copains et santé. Dans la même direction que des études antérieures, l’anxieté et le dépression ont été significativement corrélées. Une MANOVA nous a appris que les filles et les adolescents en 8ème et 10ème presentaient plus fréquemment symptômes d’anxieté et de dépression. Anxieté élevée et dépression ont été associées avec un pis rapport social avec les copains et une perception de la santé plus faible. Les implications des résultats de cette étude et la direction d’études futures sont discutés.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarida Gaspar de Matos
    • 1
  • Paula Barrett
    • 3
  • Mark Dadds
    • 2
  • Alison Shortt
    • 4
  1. 1.Tec. Univ. Lisbon/FMH & ISPAPortugal
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.School of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Health ScienceGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandAustralia

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