Associate Professor Nadine Shaanta Murshid and PhD student Andrew Irish publish article, "Mapping the association between exposure to violence and mental health problems among a representative sample of youth in Bangladesh"

Published May 24, 2021

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Nadine Shaanta Murshid

Nadine Shaanta Murshid.

Andrew Irish

Andrew Irish.

Kudos to Associate Professor Nadine Shaanta Murshid and PhD student Andrew Irish on the publication of their article, "Mapping the association between exposure to violence and mental health problemd among a representative sample of youth in Bangladesh" in Children and Youth Services Review.

Murshid, N. S., & Irish, A. (2020). Understanding teen-sex in Bangladesh: Results from Global School Health Survey 2014, Children & Youth Services Review

Highlights

  • Youth exposure to violence is a global public health concern linked to risk of developing adverse mental health outcomes.
  • Prevalence of past-year experience of violence among youth in Bangladesh is widespread.
  • Almost 22% reported “fighting,” with boys over-represented in this group.
  • Meanwhile 63.5% indicated being attacked, with girls making up most of this figure.
  • Fighting and being attacked predicted negative mental health outcomes: suicidality and anxiety.
  • Disaggregated models indicate a gendered difference.
  • Fighting was a significant predictor of mental health problems for boys.
  • Being attacked was a significant predictor of mental health problems for girls.

Abstract

Objective

To assess the mental health risk associated with exposure to violence among Bangladeshi youth.

Methods

Using the 2014 Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) for Bangladesh we estimated the prevalence of common depression and anxiety symptomology as well as violence exposure. We followed with multivariate analysis to estimate whether exposure to violence predicts this symptomology.

Results

Sizeable proportions of this population have experienced past-year exposure to violence in the form of being involved in fights (22%) or being attacked (63%). Approximately 12% of the population reports past-year suicidality, with over 40% reporting sleep loss due to anxiety either some, most, or all of the time. Among adolescent girls, being attacked was a significant predictor of both depressive symptoms, greater anxiety, and a combined symptom category. Among adolescent girls, being involved in fights bore these same relationships.

Conclusion

Independent of age, sex, and food security, exposure to violence is significantly associated with mental illness symptomology. These relationships are not the same between adolescent boys and girls, or between depressive and anxiety symptoms. We explain the differences using Susan Rosenfield’s concept of gender differences in externalization and internalization of problems. Implications are discussed.