Violence exposure and mental health of adolescents in small towns: An exploratory study

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Abstract

This study explores the impact of violence exposure on the mental health of the adolescents in a rural small town. A structured questionnaire was used to survey 347 adolescents. Violence experienced and witnessed by the adolescents at school, in the neighbourhood, and at home was measured. Mental health was represented by the psychiatric symptoms, depression levels, and self-esteem. The level of violence perpetrated by the adolescents was also explored. Results of the multiple regression analysis show that adolescents who have been exposed to more violence, either as a victim or as a witness, report more psychiatric symptoms, higher levels of depression, and more problems of self-esteem. Being a witness of violence also contributes significantly to the variance of violence committed by the adolescents. The implications of the findings to violence prevention are discussed in the conclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Volume90
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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