Impact of violence on the mental health of Venezuelan adolescents

[Speaker] Gonzalez-castro, Jose Luis:1
[Co-author] Oliveros Granados, María Alejandra:2
1:University of Burgos (Spain), 2:Universidad Nacional Abierta (Venezuela)

Venezuela is, excluding war zones, the second most violent country in the World. This situation has a deep impact on people's well-being especially in terms of mental health. We will analyze the impact of individual (i.e. personal beliefs in a just world, empathy), social (i.e. relations with parents, peers, teachers), community (i.e. trust in institutions) and cultural (i.e. values) variables on a group of San Cristobal, Venezuela, adolescents' mental health measured with the GHQ-12 (n=716).
Regression analyses show that a positive relation with one's family is the strongest predictor of positive mental health (7.5% total variance). Lack of leisure and recreational areas within the community, using expression as a way of emotional regulation, and having a low belief in the world as a just place are strongly linked to negative mental health (1-2% total variance). Results will be discussed in order to reduce these stressors and enhance positive facilitators.
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