Previous research into the psychological consequences of abortion has presented misleading results, as some studies suggest negative consequences and others do not.
The current study focuses on the relationship between having or not having an abortion and psychological distress in the form of depression, anxiety and anger.
The study uses data from 792 female participants in a random national health survey of Icelandic adults, age 18-75. The survey was conducted in the Spring of 2015. Respondents were given the option of answering an anomymous study questionnaire via mail or online (response rate 58%). The questionnaire asked respondents about psychiatric and physical conditions requiring medical attention in the past 12 months, stressful life-events in the past 12 months, and ongoing life-strains. Female respondents were asked whether or not they had had an induced abortion in the past 12 months. Psychological distress during the past week was assessed with the depression, anxiety, and anger subscales of the SCL-90 checklist.
Women who had had an abortion (2% of female respondents) reported higher levels of anxiety, depression, and anger than other women. The differences were statistically significant when controlling for age, education, family income, previous psychiatric and physical conditions, and previous stressful life-events and life-strains.
The study indicates that women who have had an abortion are worse off psychologically than other women, and the difference is only partially accounted for by previous mental and physical health, or previous stressful circumstances. Health services for women considering abortion should be carefully considered, psychological distress assessed, and ways explored to ameliorate the distress they may experience following the abortion.
Abortion is related to higher levels of anxiety, depression and anger in Icelandic women. Health services for women considering abortion should be carefully considered and psychological distress assessed.
Objectives: Stressful life events, especially relationship events, are frequent in adult life. We investigated the impact of a variety of stressful life events on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and hostility.Methods: We analyzed data from a large prospective cohort study of men (n = 1,437) in the Boston area (assessed in 1985, 1988, and 1991). Main outcomes were measures of depression, anxiety and hostility symptoms. We used the Elders Life Stress Inventory (ELSI) to measure stressful life events in the past 12 months and examine their association with symptoms of depression, anxiety and hostility. First, we analyzed the association of stressful life events with symptom changes; second, we categorized stressful life events into finance/work, health, relationships, loss, living situations events; and third, we estimated the specific association between relationship events and depression, anxiety and hostility symptoms using multilevel models.Results: The most frequent stressful life events were health, relationship, and financial events. Depression, anxiety, and hostility symptoms were relatively stable among men who did not experience these life events. However, those who reported life events in the past 12 months had a greater increase in symptoms of depression (+0.05; 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.10) and of hostility (+0.05; 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.09) than those who did not. Additionally, we found a significant decrease in hostility (−0.05; 95% CI: −0.08 to −0.01) in those experiencing no life events.Conclusion: Relationship events were more important than any other type of events, and were significantly associated with increased depression and hostility in aging men. Although the effects were small, the results point to a need to understand better the impact of relationships on psychopathology in the aging population.
Background: University students are four times more likely to experience elevated levels of psychological distress compared to their peers. Psychosocial needs of university students are associated with high psychological distress, stressful life events, and academic performance. Our study focusses on developing a measure to help universities identify these psychosocial needs. Aims: The study aimed to develop and validate the factor structure of the University Needs Instrument and identify the relationship between psychosocial needs, psychological distress, and academic performance within university students.Sample: Undergraduate university students (N = 433) currently studying at university. Method: Participants completed demographic questions, the University Needs Instrument, the Kessler-10 Psychological Distress scale, and the Stressful Life Events scale. The University Needs Instrument comprises 30 items within six psychosocial factors (academic support, financial support, support from family, support from friends, practical support, and emotional support), each consisting of five items. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis showed that all items significantly loaded on the six hypothesised factors. The hypothesised model was supported by the data displaying excellent model fit and psychometric properties. Our analysis determined that the UNI has strong internal consistency. The results also confirmed that university students’ high levels of psychological distress and their academic performance may be affected by their psychosocial needs.Conclusions: Our findings emphasise that psychosocial needs are an important underlying contributor to psychological distress and a reduction in academic performance in university students. Our findings provide an initial validation of the University Needs Instrument to measure the psychosocial needs of university students.