Stressful life events and individual stress experience are important risk factors for the development of physical and mental disorders. One of the modulating factors determining interindividual differences in stress experience is the person’s gender. In the current study, we investigated sex-related differences in the frequency and perception of stressful life events during adolescence, a period characterized by particularly high stress levels.
Subject and methods:
We examined 1,657 14-year-old adolescents who were recruited as part of the IMAGEN study, a European multicenter research project on mental well-being of young people. For the detection of stressful life events, we used the Life Events Questionnaire, a highly valid instrument for testing common stressful events during adolescence.
Although boys and girls did not differ significantly regarding the total amount of stressful life events, girls reported more stressful events in the familial and body-related areas, whereas boys experienced more conflicts with superiors and independence-marking events. As regards valence, girls reported greater psychological distress compared to boys; however, in all significant results, the effect sizes were only small to moderate.
While previous research highlighted severe stressors in adult samples, we investigated for the first time adolescents with a broader scope of stressful events. The observed differences in the stress experience may contribute to explain the sex-dependent variations in the incidence of stress-related disorders.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).