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On the feasibility of a questionnaire on attitudes towards suicide in an Iranian population
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Sciences.
Manuscript (Other academic)
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3503OAI: diva2:142236
Available from: 2008-09-29 Created: 2008-09-29 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Epidemiological studies on mental health in Tehran - Iran
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Epidemiological studies on mental health in Tehran - Iran
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since 1979 Iranians have experienced a variety of events that reasonably will have lasting effects on their mental health. In 1979 the Islamic Revolution took place and in 1980 eight years of Iraq-Iran war started. In recent years there has developed conflicts between Iran and the International society because of the Iranian activities in developing nuclear energy. To these can be added the social and religious limitations on the behavior of people. These limitations are experienced especially strong in the life of adolescents and young people. This thesis covers four different aspects of the mental health of Iranians. General health questionnaire (GHQ-12) was utilized to investigate the mental health of 4599 Iranian 3rd grade high school students (aged 17-18 years). The GHQ cut off was taken 7 or more. A considerable proportion of the students were at risk of suffering from mental health problems (29.5 %), girls more than boys. Periodic mental health surveys in high schools are proposed to identify students at risk and activities to improve their coping skills and problem-solving abilities. To study the methods of poisoning used for deliberate self harm, 2039 medical records in Loghman Hospital in Tehran were reviewed (52.3 % were females). Loghman Hospital is a specialized hospital for intoxication cases. In both genders the greatest proportions of individuals were in the ages 20-29. Drugs, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals were the most commonly used methods in each age group regardless of gender. Females outnumbered males especially in the youngest age group of 10 to 19 years of age.

In a cross sectional study of 214 subjects from Tehran the Attitude Towards Suicide (ATTS) instrument was translated and validated in Farsi language. The coefficient alpha for all sections was more than 0.70 except for the Attitude section which was 0.68. Ten latent factors were extracted from the attitude section accounting for 61 % of the variance in the data. It is concluded that the instrument can be used to study suicide ideation and attempts in Iranian populations, but new items with special attention to Iranian cultural characteristics should be added to the attitude section. To make a cross cultural comparison of personality using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) samples of 300 Germans, 300 Swedes and 316 Iranian subjects were studied. The factorial structural analysis using procrustes rotation method showed the structure of personality to be generally rather equivalent across cultures. It is apparent, however, that there are cultural differences between the Iranian and the European subjects mainly concerning character dimensions. These results support the theoretical assumptions that character development is mainly determined by socio-cultural factors during the socialization process. Based on our studies on independent samples in Iran a significant number of people are at risk of various mental health problems. A considerable number of young and adults are at risk of attempting self harm and suicide. Because of many limitations on specific topics of research in Iran including self harm and suicide we cannot present a realistic picture of this phenomenon in our society. There are different sources of tension in adolescent's life in Iran including familial and social sources. They are ever increasing in nature and in number. Besides these domestic sources of inconvenience our people is living in a kind of cold war situation which increases tension over life of all people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Klinisk vetenskap, 2008. 32 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1208
Iran, mental health, adolescents, suicidal behavior, personality
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1864 (URN)978-91-7264-641-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-14, föreläsningssal A, SV-planet, 23, NUS, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-09-29 Created: 2008-09-29 Last updated: 2010-05-27Bibliographically approved

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