Care improves self-reported daily functioning of adolescents with emotional and behavioural problems

Vera Verhage*, Sijmen A Reijneveld, Charlotte Wunderink, Hans Grietens, Josue Almansa, Danielle E M C Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Emotional and behavioural problems (EBP) have a negative impact on various life domains of adolescents. Receiving care for EBP may improve the functioning of adolescents with EBP, but evidence on long-term outcomes in real-life settings is lacking. We, therefore, investigated self-reported functioning in different life domains of adolescents with various EBP, and the role of care during a three-year period. We used data from the TAKECARE study, which consist of a care and community cohort. We followed adolescents aged 12 and over (n = 733) during 3 years over five assessment rounds. Using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, self-reported functioning was measured in four life domains: home life, friendships, classroom learning and leisure activities. We categorized the respondents into four groups: (1) adolescents without emotional and behavioural problems (n = 298); (2) adolescents with emotional problems (n = 192); (3) adolescents with behavioural problems (n = 80); and (4) adolescents with both emotional and behavioural problems (n = 163). The development of functioning over time was analyzed using longitudinal ordinal (probit) regression analyses. Adolescents with both emotional and behavioural problems reported poorer functioning at baseline in all domains and adolescents who received care reported poorer functioning at baseline compared to adolescents who did not receive care. Regarding the change in functioning during the 3 years, adolescents who received care showed improved functioning in all domains. We found improved functioning after care, even if the problems may not have been solved. Psychosocial care can contribute to the functioning of adolescents with EBP, which can have major effects on their future life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1685-1693
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
Early online date30-May-2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2022

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