Author Faculty (Discipline)

Education

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-3-2020

Early Online Version

5-8-2019

Journal

Journal of Mental Health

Volume Number

29

Issue Number

4

Page Numbers

401-409

ISSN

0963-8237

Embargo Period

5-9-2020

ANZSRC / FoR Code

111714 Mental Health

Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)

C1

Abstract

Background: Adolescents attending Seventh-day Adventist schools (Adventist) in Australia tend to experience good health and exhibit better health behaviors than national norms, however few studies have investigated factors predicting their mental health.

Aims: The aim of this study was to explore the complex network of factors that predict the mental health status (MHS) of adolescents attending Adventist schools in Australia.

Methods: A survey instrument was used to collect data from 1527 secondary school students attending Adventist schools across Australia. Structural equation modeling was employed to examine concomitantly the direct and indirect effects of childhood experiences, present attitudes and selected health behaviors on MHS.

Results: Childhood family dynamics had the strongest association with MHS (βtotal = 0.33) followed by a sense of meaning and purpose (βtotal = 0.27), perceived social misfit status (βtotal = –0.19), and school academic performance (βtotal = 0.18). Multi-group analysis found significant pathway differences in the model for gender with regards to the association of meaning and purpose, physical activity and sleep quantity with MHS.

Conclusions: The outcomes of the study highlight the importance of early positive childhood family dynamics and the discovery of meaning and purpose during adolescence to promote positive mental health among adolescents.

Link to publisher version (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2019.1608929

Peer Review

Before publication

Comments

The author accepted version of this article is available for download.


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