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The bidirectional interplay between physical and mental health is well recognised, and yet the research methodology used to study the impact of childhood chronic illness on mental health outcomes has in the past often been suboptimal. A recently published longitudinal study aimed to remediate this by using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to explore the relationship between chronic childhood illness and adolescent psychiatric disorders, including possible mediating factors, in children aged between 10 and 15 years.

One of the main study findings was that a high level of health-related school absenteeism was the most consistent predictor of mental health problems in adolescents. While there are multiple possible explanations for this, it nevertheless provides an important and interesting insight into the impact of chronic illness on a child’s life and health outcomes.

Chronic illness in childhood and early adolescence: a longitudinal exploration of co-occurring mental illness

Brady AM, Deighton J, Stansfeld S. Chronic illness in childhood and early adolescence: A longitudinal exploration of co-occurring mental illness. Dev Psychopathol. 2021 Aug;33(3):885-898. doi: 10.1017/S0954579420000206. PMID: 32362290.

Follow this link to read the full paper.

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