Neighbourhood influences and its association with the mental health of adolescents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Azhar Zahir Izuan, Shamsul Azhar Shah, Mooi Koon Susan Tan, Syed Abdul Rahim Syed-Sharizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Mental health problems are affecting more children and adolescents worldwide. Individual, family and school factors are often linked with mental health problems among adolescents. Aim: To determine the neighbourhood factors influencing the prevalence of abnormal mental health status among adolescents in an urban population. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among adolescents aged 13, 14 and 16 years old from thirteen secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur using validated questionnaires. A total of 567 adolescents participated in this study. Results: The prevalence of abnormal mental health status in this study was 4.4%. In multivariable analysis, female (OR = 1.79, 95%CI: 1.11–2.89), having divorced parents (OR = 3.53, 95%CI: 1.96–6.36), high educational stress (OR = 8.18, 95%CI: 4.25–15.75), medium educational stress (OR = 2.99, 95%CI: 1.53–5.83), whose house has been broken in before (OR = 2.02, 95%CI: 1.11–3.68) and living in a neighbourhood with low socioeconomic status (OR = 2.09, 95%CI: 1.23–3.56) were more likely to have abnormal mental health status. Conclusions: Neighbourhood factors were found to be significant in determining adolescents’ mental health status. The findings emphasize the importance of those in the public health sector to highlight these significant neighbourhood factors to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Swift action needs to be taken by the Ministry to provide solutions related to the neighbourhood factors and this can contribute to improvement in the adolescents’ mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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Mental Health Associations
Malaysia
Mental Health
Health Status
Local Government
Urban Population
Divorce
Public Sector
Social Class
Public Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Parents

Keywords

  • Environment
  • Facilities
  • Mental health status
  • Neighbourhood
  • SDQ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Neighbourhood influences and its association with the mental health of adolescents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. / Zahir Izuan, Azhar; Shah, Shamsul Azhar; Tan, Mooi Koon Susan; Syed-Sharizman, Syed Abdul Rahim.

In: Asian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 38, 01.12.2018, p. 35-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zahir Izuan, Azhar ; Shah, Shamsul Azhar ; Tan, Mooi Koon Susan ; Syed-Sharizman, Syed Abdul Rahim. / Neighbourhood influences and its association with the mental health of adolescents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In: Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 2018 ; Vol. 38. pp. 35-41.
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abstract = "Background: Mental health problems are affecting more children and adolescents worldwide. Individual, family and school factors are often linked with mental health problems among adolescents. Aim: To determine the neighbourhood factors influencing the prevalence of abnormal mental health status among adolescents in an urban population. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among adolescents aged 13, 14 and 16 years old from thirteen secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur using validated questionnaires. A total of 567 adolescents participated in this study. Results: The prevalence of abnormal mental health status in this study was 4.4{\%}. In multivariable analysis, female (OR = 1.79, 95{\%}CI: 1.11–2.89), having divorced parents (OR = 3.53, 95{\%}CI: 1.96–6.36), high educational stress (OR = 8.18, 95{\%}CI: 4.25–15.75), medium educational stress (OR = 2.99, 95{\%}CI: 1.53–5.83), whose house has been broken in before (OR = 2.02, 95{\%}CI: 1.11–3.68) and living in a neighbourhood with low socioeconomic status (OR = 2.09, 95{\%}CI: 1.23–3.56) were more likely to have abnormal mental health status. Conclusions: Neighbourhood factors were found to be significant in determining adolescents’ mental health status. The findings emphasize the importance of those in the public health sector to highlight these significant neighbourhood factors to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Swift action needs to be taken by the Ministry to provide solutions related to the neighbourhood factors and this can contribute to improvement in the adolescents’ mental health.",
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