Food insecurity and common mental disorders among Ethiopian youth: structural equation modeling

Mulusew G. Jebena, David Lindstrom, Tefera Belachew, Craig Hadley, Carl Lachat, Roos Verstraeten, Nathalie De Cock, Patrick Kolsteren

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    Abstract

    Background

    Although the consequences of food insecurity on physical health and nutritional status of youth living have been reported, its effect on their mental health remains less investigated in developing countries. The aim of this study was to examine the pathways through which food insecurity is associated with poor mental health status among youth living in Ethiopia.

    Methods

    We used data from Jimma Longitudinal Family Survey of Youth (JLFSY) collected in 2009/ 10. A total of 1,521 youth were included in the analysis. We measured food insecurity using a 5-items scale and common mental disorders using the 20-item Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20). Structural and generalized equation modeling using maximum likelihood estimation method was used to analyze the data.

    Results

    The prevalence of common mental disorders was 30.8% (95% CI: 28.6, 33.2). Food insecurity was independently associated with common mental disorders (beta = 0.323, P

    Conclusions

    Food insecurity is directly associated with common mental disorders among youth in Ethiopia. Interventions that aim to improve mental health status of youth should consider strategies to improve access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0165931
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Volume11
    Issue number11
    Number of pages20
    ISSN1932-6203
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • SELF-REPORTING QUESTIONNAIRE
    • FREQUENCY QUESTIONNAIRE
    • DEVELOPING-COUNTRIES
    • SOUTHWEST ETHIOPIA
    • WELFARE RECIPIENTS
    • FAMILY INCOME
    • JIMMA ZONE
    • HEALTH
    • INSUFFICIENCY
    • VALIDATION

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