Associations between the social organization of communities and psychiatric disorders in rural Asia
- 297 Downloads
We provide rare evidence of factors producing psychiatric variation in a general population sample from rural South Asia. The setting is particularly useful for demonstrating that variations in the social organization of communities, often difficult to observe in rich countries, are associated with important variations in mental health.
Clinically validated survey measures are used to document variation in psychiatric disorders among 401 adults. This sample is chosen from a systematic sample of the general population of rural Nepal, in a community-level-controlled comparison design. Multilevel logistic regression is used to estimate multivariate models of the association between community-level nonfamily social organization and individual-level psychiatric disorders.
Schools, markets, health services and social support groups each substantially reduce the odds of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intermittent explosive disorder and anxiety disorders. Associations between schools, health services and social support groups and depression are statistically significant and independent of each other. The association between access to markets and PTSD is statistically significant and independent of other social organization and support groups.
Community integration of some nonfamily social organizations promotes mental health in ways that may go unobserved in settings with many such organizations. More research on the mechanisms producing these associations is likely to reveal potential avenues for public policy and programs to improve mental health in the general population.
KeywordsAnxiety disorders Depression Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) Mental health Rural Asia Social organization
Funding was provided by the University of Michigan (UM) Population Studies Center Small Grant program, the UM Global Health Research and Training Initiative (Grant #5 R25 TW007496-03) and NICHD (R24 HD041028). The authors thank Cathy Sun and Nancy Sampson for assistance creating analysis files, constructing measures and conducting analyses. The authors also thank Jennifer Mamer, Austin Kozlowski and Armani Hawes for assistance in preparing this manuscript, ISER-N staff, and residents of the Western Chitwan Valley for their contributions to the research reported here. The authors alone remain responsible for any errors or omissions.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Ghimire is also the Director of the Institute for Social and Environmental Research in Nepal (ISER-N) that collected the data for the research reported here. Dr. Ghimire’s conflict of interest management plan is approved and monitored by the Regents of the University of Michigan.
Ethical approval for the protection of human subjects was received from UM’s Internal Review Board (FWA00004969) and from ISER-N’s Institutional Review Board (IRB00002109 and Federal Wide Assurance FWA00004864).
- 2.Kessler RC, Üstün TB (2008) The WHO world mental health surveys: global perspectives on the epidemiology of mental disorders. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 3.Neria Y, Galea S, Norris FH (2009) Mental health and disasters. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- 11.Coleman JS (1990) Foundations of social theory. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- 12.Durkheim E (1897/1951) Suicide: a study in sociology. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 13.Haidt J (2006) The happiness hypothesis: finding modern truth in ancient wisdom. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 16.House JS (1981) Work, stress and social support. Addison Wesley, Reading, MAGoogle Scholar
- 18.Turner JR, Frankel GB, Levin DM (1983) Social support: conceptualization, measurement, and implications for mental health. Res Community Ment Health 3:67–111Google Scholar
- 44.Scott KM, Von Korff M, Angermeyer MC, Benjet C, Bruffaerts R, de Girolamo G, Haro JM, Lepine J-P, Ormel J, Posada-Villa J (2011) Association of childhood adversities and early-onset mental disorders with adult-onset chronic physical conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatry 68(8):838–844PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 46.Seedat S, Scott KM, Angermeyer MC, Berglund P, Bromet EJ, Brugha TS, Demyttenaere K, de Girolamo G, Haro JM, Jin R (2009) Cross-national associations between gender and mental disorders in the WHO world mental health surveys. Arch Gen Psychiatry 66(7):785–795PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 47.Axinn WG, Scott KM, Chardoul SA (Forthcoming) The demography of mental health. In: Friedman H (ed) Encyclopedia of mental health, 2nd edn. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 50.Ghimire DJ, Axinn WG (2013) Impact of the spread of mass education on domestic violence against wives. Paper presented at International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, August 26–31, Busan, Republic of KoreaGoogle Scholar
- 51.Thornton A, Lin H-S (1994) Social change and the family in Taiwan. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
- 52.Ogburn WF, Tibbits C (1934) The family and its function. In: Ross EA (ed) The principles of sociology. Holt, New York, NYGoogle Scholar