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BACKGROUND: Youth adversity (e.g., abuse and bullying victimisation) is robust risk factor for later mental health problems (e.g., depression and anxiety). Research shows the prevalence of youth adversity and rates of mental health problems vary by individual characteristics, identity or social groups (e.g., gender and ethnicity). However, little is known about whether the impact of youth adversity on mental health problems differ across the intersections of these characteristics (e.g., white females). This paper reports on a component of the ATTUNE research programme (work package 2) which aims to investigate the impact and mechanisms of youth adversity on depressive and anxiety symptoms in young people by intersectionality profiles. METHODS: The data are from 4 UK adolescent cohorts: HeadStart Cornwall, Oxwell, REACH, and DASH. These cohorts were assembled for adolescents living in distinct geographical locations representing coastal, suburban and urban places in the UK. Youth adversity was assessed using a series of self-report questionnaires and official records. Validated self-report instruments measured depressive and anxiety symptoms. A range of different variables were classified as possible social and cognitive mechanisms. RESULTS AND ANALYSIS: Structural equation modelling (e.g., multiple group models, latent growth models) and multilevel modelling will be used, with adaptation of methods to suit the specific available data, in accord with statistical and epidemiological conventions. DISCUSSION: The results from this research programme will broaden our understanding of the association between youth adversity and mental health, including new information about intersectionality and related mechanisms in young people in the UK. The findings will inform future research, clinical guidance, and policy to protect and promote the mental health of those most vulnerable to the negative consequences of youth adversity.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Female, Humans, Adolescent, Mental Health, Secondary Data Analysis, Intersectional Framework, Acclimatization, United Kingdom