Aspects of modern health worries as predictors of development of anxiety and depression symptoms

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för psykologi; Umeå universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: Worries about the negative health effects of modern life (Modern health worries, MHW) have increased during the last decades, but the phenomenon is not fully understood. The present study investigated the associative and predictive relationship between different types of MHW and symptoms of anxiety and depression in a large sample from Västerbotten county, Sweden (n=2223). The four subscales of the Modern Health Worries Scale (MHWS) were used to assess different types of MHW, while symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed by using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Spearman's correlation analysis and hierarchical multiple regression analysis were used to assess the degrees of association and prediction, respectively. It was shown that the subscales were associated with symptoms of both anxiety and depression to varying degrees, however MHW did not significantly predict symptoms of neither anxiety nor depression. This suggests that when using the MHWS in clinical settings, examining the subscales rather than the global score of MHWS provides a more nuanced understanding of an individual's experience. It also suggests that experiencing MHW does not cause an increase in neither anxiety nor depression.

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