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05-03-2018 | Original Article Open Access

Changes in Emotional and Behavioral Problems Between 2000 and 2011 Among 16-Year-Old Polish Children: A Cross-Sectional Study

Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Ł. Konowałek, T. Wolanczyk


Since after the second world war there has been an increasing number of studies investigating secular changes in adolescent mental health. Although no general trends could be outlined, the majority of studies show at least partial deterioration of psychological wellbeing from year 2000 on. Our study adds to this knowledge by exploring changes in self-declared emotional and behavioral problems in Poland, which is a part of post-communist Europe. In this paper, we compared responses on the Youth Self-Report by Polish 16-year-olds from 2000 and those from 2011. Two independent samples consisted of 259 (year 2000) and 185 (year 2011) 16-year-olds of both genders, drawn from randomized, normative, school-based groups. We analyzed linear, ordinal and binary logistic regression models. The results revealed that teenagers from 2011 reported more self-rated internalizing and total problems. Social and thought problems also rose significantly. Gender related time trends hint at a male increase in externalizing, aggressive behaviors and anxiety/depression. Caseness rose significantly in most scales with female gender being an additional risk factor for internalizing and total problems. No reduction in self-reported emotional and behavioral problems was detected.

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