Pornography consumption and psychosomatic and depressive symptoms among Swedish adolescents: a longitudinal study
Background: The aims of this longitudinal study were to identify predictors for continued pornography consumption and to investigate pornography consumption in relation to psychosomatic and depressive symptoms among a group of adolescents in Sweden.
Methods and materials: A longitudinal study in classroom environment in 53 randomly selected senior high school classes in mid-Sweden in years 2011 and 2013. Out of 477 participating boys and 400 girls in 2011, 224 boys (47%) and 238 girls (60%) participated in 2013.
Results: Higher pornography consumption at baseline and being born outside Sweden predicted continued pornography consumption at follow-up (adjusted R2 = 0.689).
Psychosomatic symptoms at follow-up were predicted by higher pornography consumption at baseline (adjusted R2 = 0.254), being a girl, living with separated parents, and attending a vocational high school program. By contrast, depressive symptoms at follow-up were predicted by less pornography consumption at baseline (adjusted R2 = 0.122) and being a girl.
Conclusions: Pornography consumption may, for some individuals, be associated to mental health issues. Differences between teenage boys and girls and between adolescents with diverse ethnic backgrounds imply that counseling and discussion about pornography need to be adjusted and individualized.
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