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Mental health problems and their association to violence and maltreatment in a nationally representative sample of Tanzanian secondary school students

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Mental health problems and their association to violence and maltreatment in a nationally representative sample of Tanzanian secondary school students

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NKUBA, Mabula, Katharin HERMENAU, Katharina GOESSMANN, Tobias HECKER, 2018. Mental health problems and their association to violence and maltreatment in a nationally representative sample of Tanzanian secondary school students. In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 53(7), pp. 699-707. ISSN 0933-7954. eISSN 1433-9285. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s00127-018-1511-4

@article{Nkuba2018-07Menta-42819, title={Mental health problems and their association to violence and maltreatment in a nationally representative sample of Tanzanian secondary school students}, year={2018}, doi={10.1007/s00127-018-1511-4}, number={7}, volume={53}, issn={0933-7954}, journal={Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology}, pages={699--707}, author={Nkuba, Mabula and Hermenau, Katharin and Goessmann, Katharina and Hecker, Tobias} }

eng 2018-07 Goessmann, Katharina 2018-07-09T12:12:45Z Nkuba, Mabula Hermenau, Katharin Hecker, Tobias Hecker, Tobias Hermenau, Katharin Mental health problems and their association to violence and maltreatment in a nationally representative sample of Tanzanian secondary school students Goessmann, Katharina Nkuba, Mabula 2018-07-09T12:12:45Z Purpose<br />Little is known about the prevalence of mental health problems among adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. Research consistently determined violence and maltreatment to be important risk factors. In this study, we examined the prevalence of mental health problems among adolescents in Tanzania, as well as the association with exposure to violence and maltreatment.<br /><br />Methods<br />We administered a set of questionnaires (e.g., strength and difficulties questionnaire; conflict tactic scale) to a nationally representative sample of 700 Tanzanian secondary school children (52% girls; age 14.92 years, SD = 1.02) and 333 parents or primary caregivers (53% females; age 43.47 years, SD = 9.02).<br /><br />Results<br />41% of the students reported an elevated level of mental health problems (emotional problems 40%, peer problems 63%, conduct problems 45%, hyperactivity 17%) in the past 6 months. Concordantly, 31% of parents reported observing an elevated level of mental health problems in their children (emotional problems 37%, peer problems 54%, conduct problems 35%, hyperactivity 17%). After controlling for other risk factors, we found significant associations between physical violence by parents and adolescent’s mental health problems reported by students (β = 0.15) and their parents (β = 0.33).<br /><br />Conclusions<br />Our findings suggest a high prevalence of mental health problems using screening tools among secondary school students in Tanzania as well as an association between physical violence by parents and adolescents’ mental health problems. Our findings emphasize the need to inform the population at large about the potentially adverse consequences associated with violence against children and adolescents.

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