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Changes in exposure to 'life stressors' in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2002 to 2008

Stevens, Matthew R. and Paradies, Yin C. (2014). Changes in exposure to 'life stressors' in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2002 to 2008. BMC Public Health,14(Article No. 144).

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 75039815xPUB264
Title Changes in exposure to 'life stressors' in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2002 to 2008
Author Stevens, Matthew R.
Paradies, Yin C.
Journal Name BMC Public Health
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 14
Issue Number Article No. 144
ISSN 1471-2458   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84893704463
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
The Negative Life Events Scale (NLES) has been included in nationally representative surveys of the Indigenous and Australian population since 2002 as a measure of exposure to a range of ‘life stressors’. There has been limited reporting or analysis of estimates of the NLES from these surveys. This paper reports changes in exposure to stressors from 2002 to 2008 for the Indigenous population, and examines inter-relationships between eleven NLES items. Data for the 2006 Australian population is also included for comparative purposes.

Methods

Data from the 2002 and 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Surveys (NATSISS) and the 2006 General Social Survey (GSS) were accessed from the Australia Bureau of Statistics in order to determine significant changes in exposure to stressors for the 2002 and 2008 Indigenous population by remoteness and to compare this with the 2006 Australian population. Factor analysis was used to assess the inter-relationships between stressors for the Indigenous and Australian population by remoteness.

Results

In remote locations, between 2002 and 2008, exposure to life stressors decreased significantly for the Indigenous population across seven of the eleven stressors. In non-remote locations, exposure to four of the stressors increased significantly. Exposure to stressors in the 2002 and 2008 non-remote Indigenous population were significantly higher than those for the 2006 Australian population for all items, except ‘alcohol and/or drug problems’ and ‘trouble with the police’, which showed no evidence of a difference. The factor analysis of the NLES for the 2002 and 2008 remote and non-remote Indigenous populations and the 2006 Australian population showed a consistent clustering of items into three groups: social transgressions; grief and trauma; and labour market stressors.

Conclusions

The reduction in exposure to life stressors for the remote Indigenous population may be related to policy and practice changes (e.g. more police, income quarantining, housing construction). The differential change in exposure to life stressors between remote and non-remote locations highlights the importance of presenting data for these geographic locations separately.
Keywords Indigenous
Remoteness
Stress
Social and emotional wellboing
Mental health
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-144   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 2.0 License
URL https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/au


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