Relevance of well‑being, resilience, and health‑related quality of life to mental health profles of European adolescents: results from a cross‑sectional analysis of the school‑based multinational UPRIGHT project

Carlota Las‑Hayas, Maider Mateo‑Abad, Itziar Vergara, Irantzu Izco‑Basurko, Ana González‑Pinto, Silvia Gabrielli, Iwona Mazur, Odin Hjemdal, Dora Gudrun Gudmundsdottir, Hans Henrik Knoop, Anna Sigríður Olafsdottir, Ane Fullaondo, Nerea González, Javier Mar‑Medina, Dominik Krzyżanowski, Roxanna Morote, Frederick Anyan, Mette Marie Ledertoug, Louise Tidmand, Unnur Björk Arnford, Ingibjorg Kaldalons, Bryndis Jona Jonsdottir, Esteban de Manuel Keenoy on behalf of the UPRIGHT Consortium
Purpose The existing evidence suggests that a complete evaluation of mental health should incorporate both psychopathology and mental well-being indicators. However, few studies categorize European adolescents into subgroups based on such complete mental health data. This study used the data on mental well-being and symptoms of mental and behavioral disorders to explore the mental health profles of adolescents in Europe.
Methods Data collected from adolescents (N=3767; mean age 12.4 [SD=0.9]) from fve European countries supplied the information on their mental well-being (personal resilience, school resilience, quality of life, and mental well-being) and mental and behavioral disorder symptoms (anxiety, depression, stress, bullying, cyber-bullying, and use of tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis). Multiple correspondence analysis and cluster analysis were combined to classify the youths into mental health profles.
Results Adolescents were categorized into three mental health profles. The “poor mental health” profle (6%) was characterized by low levels of well-being and moderate symptoms of mental disorders. The “good mental health” profle group (26%) showed high well-being and few symptoms of mental disorders, and the “intermediate mental health” profle (68%) was characterized by average well-being and mild-to-moderate symptoms of mental disorders. Groups with higher levels of well-being and fewer symptoms of mental disorders showed lower rates of behavioral problems. Mental well-being indicators strongly contributed to this classifcation.
Conclusion Adolescents with the “intermediate” or “poor” mental health profles may beneft from interventions to improve mental health. Implications for school-based interventions are discussed.