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Monday, 23 February 2015, 10:20 HKT/SGT

Source: Pertanika Journal
Factors Influencing Mental Illness in Early Adolescence

Selangor, Malaysia, Feb 23, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - Mental illness - particularly depression - is a major public health problem among Malaysian youth, with the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms in 5-16 year olds rising from 16% in 1996 to 20.3% in 2006. Two recent studies published in the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities shed light on the relationship between poor family dynamics - i.e. destructive interactions among family members - and the development of mental illness.

In one study, Irene Li Yin Tan and colleagues at the Universiti Putra Malaysia examined how verbal abuse may contribute to "internalizing problems" - including anxiousness, depression and insecurity - among 11-13 year old students. In particular, they focused on whether adolescents with a negative or pessimistic "attributional style" are at greater risk, as a result of verbal abuse. (A person's attributional style is the way they explain to themselves why they experience a particular life event).

The study found that a pessimistic attributional style partly mediates the relationship between verbal abuse and the development of internalizing problems. The researchers recommend that practitioners treating at-risk youth take into account their attributional style and investigate possible experiences of verbal abuse. "Cognitive therapy that trains one's cognitive skills, changing one's pessimism to a more flexible optimism, has always been an effective way of treating internalizing problems," they note.

Verbal Abuse and Internalizing Problems in Early Adolescence: Negative Attributional Style as Mediator

In a related study, Rozumah Baharudin and colleagues at the Universiti Putra Malaysia examined the relationship between perceived parental warmth, self-esteem and depression among 13-15 year olds. The results showed that parental warmth is indirectly linked to self-esteem and depression: youth who reported a lack of parental warmth tended to have less self-esteem and a higher tendency to experience depression.

Among the implications, the team recommends that practitioners develop a "cognitive reappraisal" program for at-risk youth. Adolescents who feel they lack parental warmth "could be taught to modify their perception from the thought of not being a worthy individual to the thought that lacking parental warmth does not devalue their sense of worth," the researchers suggest.

For more information about each research, please contact:

I. L. Y. Tan
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty of Human Ecology
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Email: [email protected]
Tel: Mobile: +6012 931 3282

Rozumah Baharudin
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty of Human Ecology
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +603 8946 7082; Mobile: +6012 291 8744

About Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH)

Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. It is published four times a year in March, June, September and December. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS), and Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST).

JSSH aims to develop as a pioneer journal for the social sciences with a focus on emerging issues pertaining to the social and behavioural sciences as well as the humanities. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include Social Sciences - Accounting, anthropology, Archaeology and history, Architecture and habitat, Consumer and family economics, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Law, Management studies, Media and communication studies, Political sciences and public policy, Population studies, Psychology, Sociology, Technology management, Tourism; Humanities - Arts and culture, Dance, Historical and civilisation studies, Language and Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious studies, Sports.

The journal publishes original academic articles dealing with research on issues of worldwide relevance. The journals cater for scientists, professors, researchers, post-docs, scholars and students who wish to promote and communicate advances in the fields of Social Sciences & Humanities research.


The papers are available from the following links:

For more information about the journal, contact:

The Chief Executive Editor (UPM Journals)
Head, Journal Division, UPM Press
Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&I)
IDEA Tower 2, UPM-MDTC Technology Centre
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone: +603 8947 1622 | +601) 217 4050
Email: [email protected]

Feb 23, 2015 10:20 HKT/SGT
Topic: Research and development
Sectors: HealthCare
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