• sense of coherence;
  • resilience;
  • stress, psychological;
  • health;
  • adolescent


This study analyses the associations between sense of coherence and health and between stress and health in adolescents. In addition, this study tests whether a high sense of coherence could modify the health effects of stress. The study was a Danish cross-sectional analysis of 3258 adolescents from school classes in a national representative sample. The child, the main teacher and the school doctor completed a questionnaire for each child. The two dependent variables were recent self-reported illness and symptoms. The associations of stress and of sense of coherence and their interaction on the two health measures were analysed by logistic regression analysis for each gender, with and without confounder control. Sense of coherence and stress were generally associated with health. Girls with a low sense of coherence who were exposed to stress reported recent illness twice as often as unstressed girls did. This difference disappeared in girls with a high sense of coherence. The corresponding regression analysis showed a significant interaction between stress and sense of coherence on recent illness and was compatible with a stress modifying effect of sense of coherence. For boys, there was no such significant interaction. For both girls and boys, there were no significant interactions on symptoms. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.