PhD ceremony: Ms. M. Jaspers, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Prediction of psychosocial problems in adolescents. Do early childhood findings from routine preventive child healthcare help?
Promotor(s): prof. S.A. Reijneveld
Faculty: Medical Sciences
This thesis focuses on the prediction of psychosocial problems in adolescents by early findings of Preventive Child Healthcare (PCH) professionals. In addition, it investigates early childhood indicators for social status in preadolescence and examines the validity and accuracy of parental recall of maternal lifestyle during pregnancy, birth characteristics and early childhood behavior. The research described in this thesis is part of the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a large prospective study in the general population on determinants of mental health and social development during adolescence and young adulthood. With the support of the PCH services in Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen, we were able to retrieve these PCH files from their archives. The results show that early findings of PCH professionals predict psychosocial problems in (pre)adolescence, but only to a moderate degree. Behavioral, autistic and ADHD problems can be better predicted with early PCH data than emotional problems. Although several predictors were identified which may facilitate the PCH professionals in their work, our results show the difficulty of accurate prediction of psychosocial problems from early PCH findings. More research is needed to further improve the long-term predictive value and robustness of early PCH findings, to facilitate better use by PCH professionals in the care they provide to children and adolescents.
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