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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325

Resumen

BARCELATA EGUIARTE, Blanca Estela; DURAN PATINO, Consuelo  y  LUCIO GOMEZ-MAQUEO, Emilia. Subjective assessment of stressful life events in two groups of adolescents from low-income neighborhoods. Salud Ment [online]. 2012, vol.35, n.6, pp.513-520. ISSN 0185-3325.

Resilience implies adaptation to significant stressful situations. The low-income or economic hardship is considered as a risk factor associated with stressful life events. A life event is any experience capable of producing stress and can therefore become a stressor depending of individual subjective assessment. The purpose of this study was to analyze the subjective assessment of stressful life events in adolescents from the eastern neighboring area of Mexico City, which is deemed as a socioeconomically vulnerable area because of its high poverty and low development rates. Participants were 638 male and female adolescents aged 13 to 18 from two non-probabilistic samples from public education and mental health institutions. A socio-demographic file and the Life Event Questionnaire were applied. T values show statistical differences between school and clinical samples in all socio-demographic variables and also in all areas of life events. The family, behavior problems, personal and school areas are the ones where a greater number of stressful life events are perceived in both samples, even though school sample scores are within the normal range, whereas the clinical sample scores are marginal and out of the normal range. The MANOVA showed significantly effects by sex but not by age on the perception of life events, and there was only an interaction of sex and age in health. In the clinical sample, the older adolescent showed higher scores in stressful life events. The findings are consistent with previous reports that point to a greater number of stressful life events in clinical groups and economic hardship. No significant differences were found in the perception of stressful events concerning age. These results may be useful in designing intervention models with adolescents aimed at changing perceptions and the way they cope with adverse life events, in order to strengthen resilience in low-income and psycho-social risk contexts.

Palabras llave : Adolescence; stressful life events; economic adversity; resilience; perception.

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