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01-06-2015 | Uitgave 6/2015

Quality of Life Research 6/2015

Girls’ quality of life prior to detention in relation to psychiatric disorders, trauma exposure and socioeconomic status

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2015
Auteurs:
Lore Van Damme, Olivier Colins, Jessica De Maeyer, Robert Vermeiren, Wouter Vanderplasschen

Abstract

Purpose

Practice and research on detained girls has mainly been problem oriented, overlooking these minors’ own perspective on and satisfaction with life. The aim of this study was to examine how girls evaluate multiple domains of quality of life (QoL) and how each domain is affected by psychiatric (co)morbidity, trauma, and socioeconomic status (SES).

Methods

An abbreviated version of the World Health Organization (WHO) QoL Instrument was used to assess the girls’ (N = 121; M age  = 16.28) QoL prior to detention. This self-report questionnaire consists of two benchmark items referring to their overall QoL and health, and 24 remaining items measuring their QoL regarding four domains (physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environment). The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV was used to assess the past-year prevalence of psychiatric disorders and life-time trauma exposure.

Results

Detained girls perceived their QoL almost as good as the 12- to 20-year-olds from the WHO’s international field trial on all but one domain (i.e., psychological health). They were most satisfied with their social relationships and least satisfied with their psychological health. Psychiatric disorders, trauma, and low SES were distinctively and negatively related to various domains of QoL. The girls’ psychological health was most adversely affected by psychosocial and socioeconomic problems, while these variables had an almost negligible impact on their satisfaction with their social relationships.

Conclusions

The particularity of each domain of QoL supports a multidimensional conceptualization of QoL. Regarding treatment, psychological health appears as a domain of major concern, while social relationships might serve as a source of resilience.

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