Analysis of the use of psychotropic drugs among adolescents: a gender and intersectional perspective (PSICOFARGEN)


A variety of studies has described an important deterioration in mental health across the population. Over the last decade, an increase in the prevalence of depression and anxiety and in the use of psychotropic drugs has been observed, especially among women and adolescents. In addition, the evidence shows a clear social gradient, as girls are systematically at higher risk of using psychotropic drugs, especially those coming from more disadvantaged backgrounds. For this reason, it is necessary to analyze in detail the intersection of social factors that condition the use of psychotropic drugs and its inequalities, applying an intersectional analysis that allows to consider simultaneously the different role of a number of axes of inequalities in shaping the levels of use.

In this context, the PSICOFARGEN (Analysis of the use of psychotropic drugs among adolescents: a gender and intersectional perspective) project aims at analyzing gender inequalities in the use of psychotropic drugs among the youth and adolescent population, with a focus on its determinants and its interaction with other axes of inequalities, in addition to its change over time.

The project, of mixed methodology -quantitative and qualitative-, will analyze data coming from medical registers and surveys at different regional and state levels (Basque Country, Spain and Europe). On the other hand, field work will be carried out with adolescents who are being treated for mental health problems, their family members and technical/non-technical professionals, to try and fully understand the factors and mechanisms that shape the medicalization process that adolescents may suffer.