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Study finds the importance of social support in stress management among adolescents

Mental health concerns no specific life stage. As early as childhood or adolescence, individuals may already suffer from severe anxiety and depression. In fact, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that 10-20% of children and adolescents experience some form of mental illnesses which are caused by several factors, including lifestyle.

In the recent Mental Health Forum held in line with the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) 2017, a study entitled “Association between Lifestyle Behaviors and Psychosocial Health Conditions among Adolescents in the Region” was presented by Dr. Jennifer M. Nailes of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMMC).

The study described the mental health profiles of 21,500 adolescent respondents which include social support, stress management, degree of self-efficacy and level of perceived social support, and level of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Results revealed relatively high scores on social support and stress management highlighting that 80-90% of the respondents have a positive relationship with their parents as well as with their teachers and peers. According to Dr. Nailes, this indicates a positive social support dimension wherein most of the adolescents are capable of coping up with stress as they have family and friends to whom they can turn when experiencing problems.

Majority of the respondents also stated that they have some form of depression. According to Dr. Nailes, the findings were consistent with the World Health Organization (WHO) study entitled “Health for the World’s Adolescents” which revealed that depression is the predominant cause of illness and disability for both boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years old.

Adolescents need to be treated as a distinct part of our population and it is important to realize and address their health and lifestyle problems,” Dr. Nailes said. In helping adolescents live a mentally healthier life, Dr. Nailes emphasized the vital role that families play.