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Home > My world survey 2: national study of youth mental health in Ireland.

Dooley, Barbara and O'Connor, C and Fitzgerald, A and O'Reilly, A (2019) My world survey 2: national study of youth mental health in Ireland. Dublin: UCD and Jigsaw.

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Key findings

  • Levels of depression and anxiety in adolescents and young adults increased from MWS-1 to MWS-2. Adolescents and young adults in MWS-2 were much less likely to be in the normal range for depression and anxiety and much more likely to be in the moderate, severe or very severe ranges for depression and anxiety than adolescents and young adults in MWS-1.
  • Levels of protective factors related to mental health such as self-esteem, optimism and resilience have decreased.
  • Females, in particular, indicated increased levels of anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem, body esteem, resilience and other protective factors than males of the same age.
  • Young people from seldom heard groups showed a particular vulnerability with heightened anxiety and suicide attempts than their age-matched peers.
  • Factors such as sleep, physical activity, social media use and pornography use were strongly associated with depression and anxiety.
  • Fewer adolescents and young adults reported drinking alcohol in MWS-2 than MWS-1. However, adolescents in MWS-2 who reported more drinking engaged in more problematic drinking than adolescents in MWS-1. Alcohol use was strongly associated with drug use in young adults showing evidence of polysubstance use in young adults.
  • Adolescents demonstrated good insight into their mental health, where awareness of problems and help-seeking behaviour was linked statistically to standardised measures of depression and anxiety.

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