MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND PARENTS’ COMMUNICATION AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN MALAYSIA: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Keywords:Mental Health, University students, Awareness, Parents’ communication
This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the mental health awareness and communication with parents among healthcare students (Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences) across three private universities in Selangor, Malaysia. The study hypothesized that healthcare students would have good mental health awareness and positive communication with parents about mental health. An online survey composed of 38 items was developed and distributed among the selected students. Results showed that 418 out of 575 participants completed the survey with an 85.7% response rate. The survey questions had high reliability (a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.876), and the factor analysis showed that the survey examined one construct. The findings revealed that there were no significant differences in mental health awareness among students with respect to gender, nationality, and year group, but significant differences were observed between religious groups (p=0.017) and only-child in the family (p=0.026). Male Malaysian students showed a significantly positive parent-student communication score compared to female students (p=0.004) and international students (p=0.040). This study shows positive growth in mental health awareness among students in health-related courses. Although parents’ communication about mental health is affected by factors such as gender and religion; students perceived their parents are supportive regarding mental health issues. Further studies are recommended to explore deep the factors that impact mental health communications.
Maeshima LS, Parent MC. Mental health stigma and professional help-seeking behaviors among Asian American and Asian international students. J Am Coll Heal [Internet]. 2020;0(0):1–7. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2020.1819820
Vidourek RA, King KA, Nabors LA, Merianos AL. Students’ benefits and barriers to mental health help-seeking. Heal Psychol Behav Med [Internet]. 2014;2(1):1009–22. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2014.963586
Yeap R, Low WY. Mental health knowledge, attitude and help-seeking tendency: A Malaysian context. Singapore Med J. 2009;50(12):1169–76.
Ibrahim N, Amit N, Shahar S, Wee LH, Ismail R, Khairuddin R, et al. Do depression literacy, mental illness beliefs and stigma influence mental health help-seeking attitude? A cross-sectional study of secondary school and university students from B40 households in Malaysia. BMC Public Health. 2019;19(Suppl 4):1–8.
Bismar D. Mental Illness Stigma, Parent-Child Communicaiton, and Help Seeking of Young American Adults with Immigrant Parents. 2018;
Maiuolo M, Deane FP, Ciarrochi J. Parental Authoritativeness, Social Support and Help-seeking for Mental Health Problems in Adolescents. J Youth Adolesc [Internet]. 2019;48(6):1056–67. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-00994-4
Grimbos T, Granic I, Pepler D. The relation between co-rumination, maternal depressive symptoms and child psychopathology. J Psychopathol Behav Assess. 2013;35(3):335–45.
Ioffe M, Pittman LD, Kochanova K, Pabis JM. Parent–Adolescent Communication Influences on Anxious and Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescence. J Youth Adolesc [Internet]. 2020;49(8):1716–30. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01259-1
Mat Ruzlin AN, Chen XW, Yunus RM, Samsudin EZ, Selamat MI, Ismail Z. Promoting Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Hybrid, Innovative Approach in Malaysia. Front Public Heal. 2021;9(October):1–9.
Hassett A, Green C, Zundel T. Parental Involvement: A Grounded Theory of the Role of Parents in Adolescent Help Seeking for Mental Health Problems. SAGE Open. 2018;8(4).
Srivastava K, Chatterjee K, Bhat PS. Mental health awareness: The Indian scenario. Ind Psychiatry J [Internet]. 2016;25(2):131–4. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28659690
Aphipanyo PS. Mental Health Awareness in Buddhism. Asia Pacific J Relig Cult [Internet]. 2020 Mar 29;2(1 SE-Articles):57–65. Available from: https://so06.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ajrc/article/view/241103
Darroch K. An investigative study of the influence of religion on help seeking behaviors in the field of mental health. Theses Diss. 2011;30.
Huang JX, Xu YM, Zhong BL. Relationship Between Buddhist Belief and Suicide Risk in Chinese Persons Undergoing Methadone Maintenance Therapy for Heroin Dependence. Front Psychiatry. 2020;11(May):1–7.
Smolak A, Gearing RE, Alonzo D, Baldwin S, Harmon S, McHugh K. Social Support and Religion: Mental Health Service Use and Treatment of Schizophrenia. Community Ment Heal J. 2013;49(4):444–50.
Liu Y, Jiang Q. Who Benefits From Being an Only Child? A Study of Parent–Child Relationship Among Chinese Junior High School Students. Front Psychol. 2021;11(January):1–19.
Trent K, Spitze GD. GROWING UP WITHOUT SIBLINGS AND ADULT SOCIABILITY BEHAVIORS. J Fam Issues [Internet]. 2008;32(9):1178–1204. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3624763/pdf/nihms412728.pdf
Chen Z yin, Liu RX. Comparing Adolescent Only Children with Those Who Have Siblings on Academic Related Outcomes and Psychosocial Adjustment. Child Dev Res. 2014;2014:1–10.
Liu RX, Lin W, Chen Z yin. School performance, peer association, psychological and behavioral adjustments: A comparison between Chinese adolescents with and without siblings. J Adolesc [Internet]. 2010;33(3):411–7. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.07.007
McHale SM, Updegraff KA, Whiteman SD. Sibling Relationships and Influences in Childhood and Adolescence. J Marriage Fam. 2012;74(5):913–30.
Bireda AD, Pillay J. Perceived parent–child communication and well-being among Ethiopian adolescents. Int J Adolesc Youth [Internet]. 2018;23(1):109–17. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2017.1299016
DeBate RDG, Gatto A, Rafal G. The Effects of Stigma on Determinants of Mental Health Help-Seeking Behaviors Among Male College Students: An Application of the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model. Am J Mens Health. 2018;12(5):1286–96.
Staiger T, Stiawa M, Mueller-Stierlin AS, Kilian R, Beschoner P, Gündel H, et al. Masculinity and Help-Seeking Among Men With Depression: A Qualitative Study. Front Psychiatry. 2020;11(November):1–9.
McKenzie SK, Collings S, Jenkin G, River J. Masculinity, Social Connectedness, and Mental Health: Men’s Diverse Patterns of Practice. Am J Mens Health. 2018;12(5):1247–61.
Zahid Iqbal M, Rathi R, Prajapati SK, Zi Qing MS, Pheng TS, Wei Kee H, et al. Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice about Mental Health Challenges among Healthcare Students of a Private University. J Pharm Bioallied Sci [Internet]. 2020/10/15. 2021;13(1):136–42. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34084060
Toombs E. Evaluating the Parent Adolescent Communication Toolkit: Usability, Measure Assessment and Preliminary Content Effectiveness. 2014;(September).
Li C, Jiang S, Fan X, Zhang Q. Exploring the impact of marital relationship on the mental health of children: Does parent–child relationship matter? J Health Psychol. 2020;25(10–11):1669–80.