About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 3485 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1768

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain


A. Cocca, M. Cocca, F.D. Espino Verdugo

Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (MEXICO)
Mental health is considered not only as absence of psychological and cognitive diseases, but also a state of wellness that allows individuals to deal with stressful situations, to carry out their jobs in a productive way, and to be an integral part of their communities (World Health Organization [WHO], 2007). Based on this, many theories were proposed in order to understand and establish mental health traits. Among these, Greenspoon and Saklofske (2001) suggested a dual model composed by two main features: on one side, positive mental characteristics such as mental wellness (MW) and self-esteem (SE); on the other, negative characteristics such as anxiety (A) and stress (S). These dimensions combine to create a 4-quadrant profile that can define a person’s current mental health state. Each quadrant implies specific mental features: the first contains anxious people, showing high negative and low positive traits. The second contains people externally misfit, having high levels of both positive and negative traits. People with high positive and low negative traits belong to the third quadrant and are defined as well adapted. Finally, the fourth quadrant includes people with low positive and negative traits. These individuals are classified as unsatisfied. Understanding and defining people’s mental condition is an essential primary step towards increasing their overall wellness and integration in the society, which is even more important in youth as it would allow to prevent young people from higher risk of suffering mental diseases in adulthood. School represents the perfect setting for supporting youth towards a proper mental growth, due to the fact that it summons the majority of kids in a specific community, as well as because school teachers are social figures having a strong impact on kids’ development. For this reason, the aim of this study was to assess mental health state of Mexican students from primary schools. A sample of 189 fourth- and fifth-grade students (88 boys, 101 girls; average age = 9.74) from three primary schools in García, Nuevo León, was asked to fill four questionnaires (Likert scale from 1 to 4) assessing respectively MW, SE, A, and S. Results showed low levels of SE (1.74 ± .63) average levels of S (2.36 ± .29), and high levels of A (2.95 ± .65) and MW (3.47 ± .43). Overall levels of positive (2.57 ± .36) and negative traits (2.66 ± .32) were average. Our outcomes suggest that primary school kids in our sample do not have yet a specific mental profile, as they cannot be clearly placed in any quadrant. However, the high level of A showed by both boys and girls indicates a condition that, if not treated, could lead to higher risk of mental diseases. Anxiety has been also associated with lower academic performance and grades, drop-off in healthy behaviors such as exercising and following a proper diet, as well as with higher obesity levels. Considering that youth is a decisive phase of life for establishing the basis of a healthy adulthood, it is critical to provide kids with a proper environment for growing in a harmonious way. School teachers can create contextual conditions for youths to build a positive mental health at the same time as the negative traits are reduced, in order to prompt healthy psychological and social behaviors that could accompany them throughout their life.
author = {Cocca, A. and Cocca, M. and Espino Verdugo, F.D.},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1768},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1768},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3485}}
AU - A. Cocca AU - M. Cocca AU - F.D. Espino Verdugo
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1768
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3485
EP - 3485
ER -
A. Cocca, M. Cocca, F.D. Espino Verdugo (2016) MENTAL HEALTH PROFILE OF MEXICAN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, p. 3485.