Impact of Poor Quality of Life on Adolescents in Rural Kentucky: A Brief Report
Authors: Hatim A. Omar, Søren Ventegodt and Joav Merrick
Abstract: In many rural areas in Kentucky, adolescents lack the basic assets for a good quality of life, such as having caring adults, a safe place and useful activities after school. Methods: Analysis of data from middle and high school students referred to a comprehensive school based health promotion center (SBHPC). Results: From august 2006 to February 2008, a total of 382 students (200 female, 182 male, aged 12-18 years) were referred to the SBHPC for help. Only two (0.5%) students had two parents living with them and 12 (3.1%) had safe, organized after school activities. 19.9% of the total were suicidal, 27.2% used drugs, 44% smoked, 26.7% used alcohol, 45% were depressed, 29.3% had conduct problems, 37.4% had school problems, 43% were overweight, 50% lacked safety procedures (seat belts, access to guns) and 17.5% had other mental health problems. Conclusions: Poor quality of life is a major factor leading to negative outcomes in rural adolescents.