Risk and protective factors for mental health at a youth mass gathering

Autor(en): Cruwys, Tegan
Saeri, Alexander K.
Radke, Helena R. M.
Walter, Zoe C.
Crimston, Daniel
Ferris, Laura J.
Stichwörter: AUSTRALIA; BEHAVIOR; CROWD; Health risk behaviour; IDENTIFICATION; INTERVENTION; Mass gathering medicine; NORMS; Pediatrics; Psychiatry; Psychology; Psychology, Developmental; SCHOOLIES WEEK; Social identity; SOCIAL-IDENTITY; Special events; SUBSTANCE USE; Well-being; YOUNG-PEOPLE
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Herausgeber: SPRINGER
Volumen: 28
Ausgabe: 2
Startseite: 211
Seitenende: 222
BackgroundMass gatherings are well-documented for their public health risks; however, little research has examined their impact on mental health or focused on young people specifically. This study explores risk and protective factors for mental health at mass gatherings, with a particular focus on characterising attendees with high levels of psychological distress and risk taking.MethodData collection was conducted in situ at Schoolies, an annual informal week-long mass gathering of approximately 30,000 Australian school leavers. Participants were 812 attendees of Schoolies on the Gold Coast in 2015 or 2016 (74% aged 17years old).ResultsIn both years, attendee mental health was found to be significantly better than population norms for their age peers. Identification with the mass gathering predicted better mental health, and this relationship became stronger across the course of the mass gathering. Attendees with high levels of psychological distress were more likely to be male, socially isolated, impulsive, and in a friendship group where risk taking was normative.ConclusionsMass gatherings may have a net benefit for attendee mental health, especially for those attendees who are subjectively committed to the event. However, a vulnerable subgroup of attendees requires targeted mental health support.
ISSN: 10188827
DOI: 10.1007/s00787-018-1163-7

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