Emotional Factors and Fatigue in Adolescents

Fatigue in adolescents may be related to psychological, somatic, and lifestyle factors. In a longitudinal study of 653 adolescent girls, the correlations between the severity of fatigue and psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression were examined (ter Wolbeek et al., 2008).

The study found that about one-fourth of those who had severe fatigue also had continuous fatigue (ter Wolbeek et al., 2008). Factors including the elevated levels of anxiety and depression were associated with continuous fatigue, together with physical inactivity and lack of sleep.

The predictive factors of the onset of fatigue included depression, physical inactivity, and shorter sleep (ter Wolbeek et al., 2008). On the other hand, the lower level of fatigue severity was related to the lower levels of anxiety and depression, and higher levels of physical activity and longer sleep time.

The roles of the emotional factors in the onset and continuance of fatigue in adolescents indicate that integrative interventions targeting anxiety and depression may be helpful for the prevention and treatment of the problem (ter Wolbeek et al., 2008). In addition, physical activities and sleep are also important. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) studies may help understand more details among the associations, and how the integrative strategies may be helpful for solving the problem.

[Reference]

ter Wolbeek M, van Doornen LJ, Kavelaars A, Heijnen CJ. Predictors of persistent and new-onset fatigue in adolescent girls. Pediatrics. 2008 Mar;121(3):e449-57. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-1093.

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