1 Oct 2022

Study on depression identifies key risk factors for Pasifika youth

3:36 pm on 1 October 2022
Dr El-Shadan Tautolo, Director of the Pacific Islands Families Study

Dr El-Shadan Tautolo Photo: Supplied/ AUT

Some of these factors include; relationships with parents (particularly mother), relationships with friends, school engagement, and impulsivity.

The study used psychological network analysis to demonstrate how connectedness (particularly with family, friends, and school) can help prevent depression among Pacific adolescents.

AUT researcher El-Shadan Tautolo said the study found that depression among Pasifika was often correlated with strained relationships at home and a lack of friendships at school.

"We particularly focussed on depression and looking at the relationship between particular risk factors and symptoms of depression in Pacific adolescents, aged about 17 and we managed to pull out a few sorts of key things which seemed to be important, in terms of their relationship with friends, their relationship with the family."

"If you look at the stats, our rates especially among young Pasifika are quite high in terms of poor mental being and suicide.

It's something we need to be aware of, and we need to prepare ourselves things for strategies and things we can do to support it," Tautolo said.

These important findings coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand this week.