But depression and student suicide also need official attention

Macau Business | October 2022 | Special Report | Chinese Millennials

A study conducted by the Department of Sociology at the University of Macau a few months ago revealed “changing patterns and correlations” of adolescent substance use in Macau.

The team, led by Professor Spencer De Li, started with a few assumptions (“Macau is known for its gambling industry, its proximity to the Golden Triangle, and its lenient drug laws. It may encourage levels of drug use, including during puberty”), but has not been fully confirmed.

The main outcomes were low to moderate prevalence of smoking and illicit drug use, and relatively high prevalence of alcohol use. Smoking declined between 2014 and 2018, but alcohol use and illicit drug use remained stable.

“Although Macau adolescents shared similar risk factors for drug use with adolescents in other regions, there may be unique circumstances affecting their alcohol consumption,” local society said. A team of scholars concluded.

The paper further explains: In addition, our results showed that living without parents, living with unemployed parents, large pocket money, approval of substance use, low perceived risks from substance use, peer substance use, school problems, and It shows that drug availability predicted all 1 or more forms of substance use among Macau adolescents. ”

“Young people’s alcohol consumption is a situation that the government is paying particular attention to, and since 2003, it has been continuously monitoring the situation and recommending people to drink alcohol regularly,” said Chiang Seng-yip, deputy director of the Department of Health. A study on the health behavior of high school students in Macau, including: The results obtained so far show an upward trend in alcohol consumption among young people in Macau.”

The government is concerned about the increase in alcohol consumption among middle school students in Macau, but society is also aware of the problem.The majority (92.9%) agreed with the rule.

Another problem directly or indirectly related to alcohol consumption is the increase in depression among college students.

The first study comparing the prevalence of depression among university students in Macau, Hong Kong and mainland China found that the overall prevalence of depression was 28.9%, compared with 35.2% in Macau, 41.0% and 16.8% in Hong Kong. did. in mainland China.

“Students with depression had significantly lower quality of life scores in the physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains,” the document reads.

Factors associated with depression “differed among the three study sites,” but “in all three samples, sleep disturbances and high school pressure were positively associated with depression.”

“Students in high school, especially grade 12, [are] Groups of adolescents at highest risk of drug use” – Survey

More recently, results from another survey conducted by the Sheng Kung Chong Welfare Commission in Hong Kong on youth resilience in Macau found that more than half of the adolescents surveyed (a total of 630 secondary and high school students) was included. Depression, anxiety, and pressure issues need to be addressed.

And already this year, another study found, “Among all family factors, low-income families’ economic status (less than MOP10,000 monthly income), lack of parental care, poor relationship with parents, The study also found that frequent quarreling with people was significantly associated with major depression during puberty.The study also found that adolescent women with major depression were more likely to I also noticed that I was receiving more.” [more on family factors below]

At the final session of the United Nations Commission on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Macau government was asked to explain its measures to combat depression and student suicide.

“Demonstrate efforts to address high levels of depression and emotional stress and to address allegedly increasing student suicide rates, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the document said. is written in

Following several suicide cases, the government has created a working group to monitor the mental and physical health of young people in 2021. Several MPs expressed concern over the situation and appealed to the government to investigate the cause.

A related problem is cyberbullying, a “complex multi-layered process involving not only individuals and their families, but also the educational community, agency agents and the technology sector,” said Helen Liu, a professor of social work at St. I’m here. Joseph.

“As with traditional bullying, common outcomes for victims of cyberbullying include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, insomnia, poor academic performance, and suicide, both in bullies and their victims. rate increases,” said a researcher at USJ’s School of Social Science Education. Macau business.

In 2018, she surveyed 2,185 young people in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou and found that 71% of participants were victims and 63.7% were perpetrators. “This shows that cyberbullying is having an impact on the Greater Bay Area,” concludes Professor Liu.

to support parents

According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Women’s General Association of Macao, about 53% of young parents (ages 31-37) have a “ignoring” or “indifferent” attitude towards their children’s education. I admit it.

According to the study, it is becoming increasingly common to shift the responsibility of educating children to tutoring centers, maids and even cell phones.

These findings led us to evaluate a group of researchers at the City University of Hong Kong. Macau’s dynamic and sociopathic adolescent families (2020).

The results suggest that “domestic violence and parent-adolescent conflict are correlated with adolescent antisocial behavior. It can soften the effects of family conflict on antisocial behavior.”

The team, led by Andrew Lo, said, “Considering the long and precarious working hours of parents working in gambling cities, social workers in Macau can develop more innovative programs to support parents in Macau.” We can,” he concluded.

In 2020-2021, Professor Helen Liu of the USJ School of Social Work and her research team conducted a family research project. Needs of different stages of marriage and family life in Macau and family dynamics in MacauThe aim of a large family study was to gain knowledge about the development of each stage of the family life cycle and family dynamics in Macau.

The assistant professor and her research team also found that “parental stress is an important factor influencing family conflict, family closeness and warmth. , revealed that neglectful parenting styles function as a pathway in the relationship between parental stress and family relationships.

They conclude:

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