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Depressive and anxious symptoms and the risk of secondary school non-completion

  • Frédéric N. Brière (a1), Sophie Pascal (a2), Véronique Dupéré (a3), Natalie Castellanos-Ryan (a4), Francis Allard (a4), Gabrielle Yale-Soulière (a4) and Michel Janosz (a5)...
Abstract
Background

Evidence regarding the association between adolescent internalising symptoms and school non-completion has been limited and inconclusive.

Aims

To examine whether depressive and anxious symptoms at secondary school entry predict school non-completion beyond confounders and whether associations differ by baseline academic functioning.

Method

We used logistic regression to examine associations between depressive and anxious symptoms in grade 7 (age 12–14) and school non-completion (age 18–20) in 4962 adolescents.

Results

Depressive symptoms did not predict school non-completion after adjustment, but moderation analyses revealed an association in students with elevated academic functioning. A curvilinear association was found for anxiety: both low and high anxious symptoms predicted school non-completion, although only low anxiety remained predictive after adjustment.

Conclusions

Associations between internalising symptoms and school non-completion are modest. Common school-based interventions targeting internalising symptoms are unlikely to have a major impact on school non-completion, but may prevent non-completion in selected students.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Frédéric N. Brière, École de Psychoéducation, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, H3C 3J7. Email: frederic.nault-briere@umontreal.ca
Footnotes
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This research was funded by a postdoctoral grant from the School Environment Research Group (SERG) awarded to F.N.B. Funding organisations played no role in any part of the study. Authors had full access to data, are responsible for its integrity and accuracy of analysis.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Depressive and anxious symptoms and the risk of secondary school non-completion

  • Frédéric N. Brière (a1), Sophie Pascal (a2), Véronique Dupéré (a3), Natalie Castellanos-Ryan (a4), Francis Allard (a4), Gabrielle Yale-Soulière (a4) and Michel Janosz (a5)...
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