|What does this study hope to do?
The Malaysian Child-Adolescent Well-being (MCAW) study will assess the relatively uncharted area of adolescent psychological health in Malaysia, a multi-cultural country in Southeast Asia, in an effort to subsequently promote positive youth development in schools. Almost 46% of Malaysia's 22 million population are below the age of 22.
MCAW is possibly one of the few studies in the world to look at adolescent psychological health from a broad perspective that comprises of two distinct and related dimensions:
1. psychological well-being and
2. psychological distress.
MCAW will also look at the association of social support in the adolescent’s microsystem to their psychological health. This study will particularly measure social support from teachers and friends in school and adults in general.
|What do we hope to do with results from this study?
Results from this study would mark initial scientific efforts in determining the scope of adolescent psychological health in Malaysia and is part of a larger effort in addressing serious concerns of youth development in the country.
The ultimate vision of MCAW is to use information in this phase of assessments in proposals to build upon current efforts in Malaysian secondary schools in promoting positive youth development (e.g. in the curriculum and in the school environment), particularly focusing on school community support and social-emotional competence.
MCAW also holds promise for comparative studies and cultural value in adding to new and growing research on positive youth development worldwide.
|What methods would we use?
This study uses a paper-and-pencil survey based on empirically-developed instruments to measure adolescent psychological health indicators and school social support. Primary measures in this self-report include Search Institute’s Developmental Assets Profile (DAP), adapted scales from the Middle School Student Questionnaire Measures (Battistich, V.) and the ALEXSA (Ridenour, T., 2003).
The first phase of analysis will assess the reliability and validity of scales used in our instrument. The second phase of analysis will attempt to address research questions proposed in this study using correlational analysis (e.g. ANOVA, multiple regression, path analysis). This cross-sectional data will be supported with theory and published longitudinal research in interpreting findings that may suggest causation.