Childhood Victimization and Adult Mental Health : A Quantitative Study on the Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety and Hazardous Alcohol Use in Swedish University Students
Abstract: This thesis investigates whether an association can be established between childhood victimization (CV) and current mental health (MH) among Swedish university students, focusing on the prevalence of anxiety, depression and hazardous alcohol use (HAU) in relation to different forms of CV. The data comes from the World Mental Health International College Student Initiative, a global survey designed to generate data on MH disorders, as well as implement and evaluate web-based interventions aimed at preventing and treating said disorders. The thesis hypothesized that high levels of CV would be positively associated with the prevalence of the aforementioned conditions and that females with a history of CV would have a higher prevalence of these conditions. Using SPSS, 23 variables related to CV were analyzed using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA), which extracted 6 factors. The 23 variables were condensed into 6 additive indexes according to findings from the EFA, as well as one additive index making up all 23 variables to check for general CV. Eight consecutive hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses (OLS) were conducted, two for each of the dependent variables; anxiety, depression, HAU as well as an index combining all three dependent variables to indicate the presence of one or more conditions. Each analysis had gender in the first block and added the CV index or the six factors in the second block. The results show positive associations between four CV factors and depression, and positive associations between anxiety and two CV factors, as well as a positive association between females and anxiety. The results also indicate a positive association between males and HAU. The findings are in line with previous research, but further research is needed to provide stronger evidence of an association between CV and MH/HAU among Swedish university students.
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