Not All Developmental Assets Can Predict Negative Mental Health Outcomes of Disadvantaged Youth: A Case of Suburban Kuala Lumpur

Rozmi Ismail, M. Nuruddin Ghazalli, Norhayati Ibrahim

Abstract


This study sets out to gauge the relationship between developmental assets of adolescents and their negative mental health outcomes. Sample size comprised of 346 respondents of disadvantaged (at-risk) youth from suburban areas of Kuala Lumpur by using purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Two instruments were used; General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) by Goldberg and Williams © (1988) to measure negative mental health outcomes (depression/anxiety and social dysfunctions) and a shorter version of Developmental Assets (© Search Institute) to measure developmental assets. Correlation and multiple regression were employed to test the hypotheses through SPSS (V.22.0). Results depict none of the internal assets had significant correlation with negative mental health outcomes, and external assets; particularly, the hope and expectations of family members have significant negative correlation with depression, anxiety and social dysfunction. While, positive peer influence and neighbourhood religiosity had significant negative correlation with overall negative mental health outcomes. On the other hand, hope and expectations of parents toward their adolescents can predict the severity of negative mental health outcomes. Conclusively, findings exhibit positive influence of peers and neighbourhood religiosity are inversely proportional to negative mental health outcomes. The implications of this study would suggest good and timely parental monitoring of the adolescents is a significant contributor in positive youth development.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n5s1p452


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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