Journal article

Oiling a neglected wheel: an investigation of adolescent internalising problems in rural South Australia

Education Health Communities Australia South Australia

Despite a paucity of research, adolescents living in rural areas appear to have a heightened risk for developing a mental health problem compared with their urban counterparts. The main objectives of this study were to contribute to building an evidence base of prevalence rates and determinants of internalising problems of adolescents in rural South Australia. A multidimensional Process Model was used as theoretical framework to enable an investigation of the various determinants from individual, family and community domains; specifically, the contribution of self-esteem, parental acceptance and elements of social capital at an individual level (ie participation in the local community and proactivity in a social context represented structural social capital, and feelings of trust and safety, and neighbourhood connections represented cognitive social capital). A total of 388 Year 9 (2nd year of secondary school) students aged 13?15 years participated from 11 rural high schools. In light of the concerning rates of internalising problems demonstrated by the present study, coupled with the fact that young people from rural areas were not considered in previous National Mental Health Surveys, it seems timely to highlight the importance of including as many Australians as possible from rural and remote areas, in the approaching, subsequent National survey.

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