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The relationship between resilience and levels of anxiety, depression, and obsessive–compulsive symptoms in adolescents



Objective: Mental health problems affect approximately 20% of adolescents. Traditionally, the principal focus has been on vulnerability and risk factors and less on protective factors. The study, therefore, explores the relation between frequent psychiatric symptoms and resilience factors among older adolescents.

Method: The Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ) was completed by 307 Norwegian high school students (M = 16.4 years) along with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, and the Obsessive–Compulsive Inventory-Revised.

Results: Higher resilience scores predicted lower scores on levels of depression, anxiety, stress and obsessive–compulsive symptoms after controlling for age and gender.

Conclusion: This study provides further evidence that it may be fruitful for clinicians and researchers to attend to resilience factors in relation to psychological symptoms among older adolescents. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message:

• Resilience is significantly related to psychological symptoms in older adolescents after controlling for age and gender.

• Resilience factors are differently expressed by female and male youths, but overall resilience is equally distributed among the sexes.

• Assessment of resilience factors may provide appropriate targets for interventions among youths.