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02-07-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2020

Characteristics of Psychological Crisis and its Risk Factors Among Adolescents in China

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2020
Hong Zeng, Zhiling Zheng, Pengfei Wang
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This study investigated multiple individual and family characteristics, including childhood maltreatment and recent negative life events, in relation to psychological crisis among adolescents in the Chinese cultural context. Participants were a group of 160 adolescents in psychological crisis (aged 10–18, average age 14.33 years; 52% girls) and a comparison group of 167 community adolescents who were matched on age, gender and year in school. Adolescents in both groups completed self-report measures regarding individual and family characteristics and current psychological functioning. The results showed adolescents in psychological crisis scored significantly higher on measures of depression and anxiety; reported more sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect in childhood; and experienced more relationship problems, academic pressure and problems adapting to change. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, the factors that predicted being in vs. not being in crisis were interpersonal relationship problems, sexual abuse during childhood, with father lived in the household, and emotion-focused rather than problem-focused coping. These results suggest the importance of positive interpersonal relationships, and parent availability and support for adolescents’ mental health. Programs that help adolescents learn effective coping strategies may be useful in preventing psychological crisis in the context of risk.

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