Mental Health of Urban and Rural Youth in Saskatchewan
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The health and mental health status of rural populations has often been neglected as a research priority; particularly in the case of rural youth. The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in depressed mood and suicide ideation of urban and rural youth and to determine what factors are associated with depressed mood and suicide ideation. More specifically, this study will examine depressed mood and suicide ideation of urban and rural youth (grades 5 to 8) in the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) using data from the Student Health Survey. This project involved secondary data analysis of SHR’s Student Health Survey. There were 5,783 grade 5-8 students that participated in the survey. The final logistic regression models revealed similarities and differences between urban and rural youth in the risk factors that predicted the likelihood of students reporting symptoms of depressed mood and suicide ideation. For depressed mood, both urban and rural youth reported their relationship with their parents, their general mental health, low self-esteem, and suicide ideation as risk factors for depressed mood. Gender, age, having been drunk, and feeling like an outsider at school were risk factors for depressed mood in urban youth, while rural students reported that their living situation, their perception of their weight, being physically bullied, and being electronically bullied increased their likelihood of reporting symptoms of depressed mood. In terms of suicide ideation, both urban and rural youth were more likely to report depressed mood and a poor relationship with their parents as risk factors. Urban youth also reported being Aboriginal, that they had tried smoking, and being victims of physical bullying as risk factors. No additional risk factors were found for rural youth. This data will help to address local and national gaps in the literature about the mental health status of youth in rural populations. This research may inform policies and programming in both the health and education sectors.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
CommitteeHellsten, Laurie; Renihan, Patrick
Copyright DateMarch 2014