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Major Stressors Among Korean Adolescents According to Gender, Educational Level, Residential Area, and Socioeconomic Status

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Major Stressors Among Korean Adolescents According to Gender, Educational Level, Residential Area, and Socioeconomic Status

Subin Park et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Abstract

Adolescents are exposed to many stressors which have been associated with poor mental health. Using data from the 2015 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey, we identified the major stressors among Korean adolescents based on gender, current educational level, residential area, and socioeconomic status (SES). The major stressors among girls were relationship- and appraisal-related factors, whereas boys more often reported health- and conflict-related factors. High school students more often reported academic performance and family circumstances as major stressors, whereas middle school students tended to report conflict-related factors. Urban adolescents reported academic performance and conflicts with parents as major stressors while rural adolescents reported conflicts with teachers and peer relationship problems. Finally, adolescents of lower SES reported multiple factors, including relational and family problems, as major stressors; contrarily, among those of higher SES, the primary stressor was uniquely related to academic performance. This result is significant in that adolescents' stress levels, as well as the types of major stressors, vary depending on individual factors. It could also be beneficial for developing and implementing individualized and thus more efficient stress-management strategies.

Keywords: South Korea; adolescent; stress.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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