Psychological well-being in Black Caribbean, Black African, and White adolescents in the UK Medical Research Council DASH study
- 250 Downloads
It is not known if adolescents from diverse groups of Black African origin experience similar or different psychological well-being.
To examine adolescent self-report of psychological well-being among Black African and White UK origin groups and to assess the extent to which family type and social deprivation influence any ethnic differences.
The 25-item Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to assess psychological well-being in a study of 6,632 11–13 year-olds in 51 schools in London.
Overall, family type (but not material deprivation) was an important independent correlate of psychological well-being. Nigerian/Ghanaian boys reported the lowest mean Total Difficulties Score (TDS) compared to White boys (regression coefficient (95% CI) −2.09 (−2.83, −1.35) p < 0.001). They also had significantly higher mean pro-social behaviour score, and were at reduced risk of a high (i.e., likely psychological distress) TDS score. TDS was also significantly lower than Whites for Other African boys and girls. Other African and Mixed ethnicities were protective factors against risk of psychological distress for girls.
Black African boys and Other African boys and girls reported the most favourable psychological well-being scores. The influence of family type on mental health may operate differently for girls compared to boys and for Africans compared to other ethnic groups.
Key wordsethnicity adolescents family social disadvantage mental health
The study is funded by the Medical Research Council. We are grateful for the support of the community figures, schools, parents and students involved in the study. We also thank the fieldwork team involved in the data collection.
- 1.Acheson D (1998) Independent inquiry into inequalities in health. The Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 2.British Medical Association (2006) Child and adolescent mental health a guide for healthcare professionals. BMA, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 3.Asthana S, Halliday J (2006) What works in tackling health inequalities? Pathways, policies and practice through the lifecourse. The Policy Press, BristolGoogle Scholar
- 4.Office for National Statistics (2004) Focus on ethnicity and identity. HMSO, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 6.Inspection reports. Manchester: Ofsted – Office for Standards in Education. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk
- 7.Harding S, Whitrow M, Maynard MJ, et al. (in press) Cohort Profile. The DASH (Determinants of Adolescent Social well-being and Health) Study: an ethnically diverse cohort. Int J EpidemiolGoogle Scholar
- 9.Meltzer H, Gatward R, Goodman R, et al. (2000) Mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain. The Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 10.Quilgars D (2002) The mental health of children. In: Bradshaw J (ed) The well-being of children in the UK, Save the Children, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 11.Green H, McGinnity A, Meltzer H, et al. (2005) Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, 2004. Palgrave MacMillan, BasingstokeGoogle Scholar
- 12.Millar J, Ridge T (2001) Families, poverty, work and care: a review of the literature on lone parents and low income couple families. Department for Work and Pensions Research report No. 153. CDS: LeedsGoogle Scholar
- 13.Prescott-Clarke P, Primatesta P (1998) Health survey for England 97, the Health of Young People ’95–97. The Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 14.Goulbourne H, Chamberlain M (2001) Caribbean families in the Trans-Atlantic world. In: Goulbourne H, Chamberlain M (eds) Caribbean families in Britain and the trans-Atlantic world. Macmillan Education Ltd., LondonGoogle Scholar
- 17.Sweeting H (2000) What’s most important for teenage health? The patterning of health and behaviours according to social position and social life. In: Ryan H, Bull J (eds) Changing families, changing communities: researching health and well being among children and young people. Health Development Agency, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 19.Glendinning A, Kloep Mand Hendry LB (2000) Parenting practices and wellbeing in youth: family life in rural Scotland and Sweden. In: Ryan H, Bull J (eds) Changing families, changing communities: researching health and wellbeing among children and young people. Health Development Agency, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 20.Hylton C (1997) Moyenda: black families talking – family survival strategies. Exploring Parenthood, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 21.Reynolds T (2001) Caribbean fathers in family lives in Britain. In: Goulbourne H, Chamberlain M (eds) Caribbean families in Britain and the transatlantic world, Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 22.Harding S, Balarajan R (2001) Longitudinal study of socio-economic differences in mortality among South Asian and West Indian migrants. Ethn Dis 6:121–128Google Scholar
- 23.Nazroo JY (1997) The health of Britain’s minorities. Policy Studies Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar