Do Adolescents Feel Worse Today ? – Comparing prevalence of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Disordered Eating From 2007 to 2023 in Swedish adolescents

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragKonferensabstractPeer review


The prevalence of mental health issues is rising, especially among youth. Research shows that diagnosable and subthreshold mood disorder symptoms are increasing. Notably, and particularly troublesome, there are indications that some mental health issues, such as non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and disordered eating (DE) behaviors, have increased during the last decades, these reports, however, do not always have a sound scientific basis. Furthermore, it remains unclear how these trends are developing, which aspects of mental health have deteriorated, and which have not.

We aim to study the changes in mental health, particularly NSSI and DE, over the past 16 years by comparing data planned to be collected in 2023 from a community cohort of adolescents (mean age 14 years) with the results from a corresponding cohort of adolescents who participated in the data collection in 2007.

Preliminary results presented here are based on a pilot sample of adolescents (mean age 14 years, N = 354) collected in preparation for the main data collection (planed date Mars-April 2023) in a large community cohort of adolescents. The new data will be collected in the same municipality as 2007 inviting all regular school students in grades 7-9. We expect that about 1500 students will participate in the new data collection and the cohort of students will be compared to a cohort of students (N=973) in grades 7-8 collected in 2007.

Results & Conclusion
No significant overall mean differences in NSSI and DE were found between the 2022 and 2007 samples. However, significant interaction effects were found between gender and year with girls in 2022 reporting significantly more NSSI compared to the girls in 2007. Furthermore, significantly more girls also reported repetitive (≥ 5 instances) NSSI (32.6% and 20.5%). Concerning DE, boys reported a significantly lower frequency of DE in 2022 compared to 2007. Overall prevalence of NSSI and DE appears to be rather stable over the last 15 years, but a possible increase of NSSI in girls, and a possible decrease of DE in boys, should be examined further.
StatusPublished - 2023 juni 23
EvenemangThe International Society for the Study of Self-Injury Conference - Vienna, Österrike
Varaktighet: 2023 juni 222023 juni 23


KonferensThe International Society for the Study of Self-Injury Conference
Förkortad titelISSSI

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Psykologi

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