Background : West Sulawesi take the 2nd place of the highest rate of stunting in Indonesia. In 2013, the prevalence of stunting in Polewali Mandar, which is a part of West Sulawesi is 48,48%. Some research mentioning that stunting is related to mental emotional disorder. Some adolescents who experienced stunting in their childhood, tend to be more anxious, depressed, and having an antisocial behavior. This study wants to find out more about association between stunting and mental emotional health problems among adolescents in junior high school, Polewali Mandar, West Sulawesi.
Material : This cross sectional study was conducted in February 2018. The subjects were students in 7th and 8th grade at 3rd Tinambung junior high school, Polewali Mandar, West Sulawesi. Total sampling was performed in subjects selection. Sample that match the inclusion and exclusion criteria was 98 students. The data of stunting were collected by direct measurement using WHO height-for-age 5 to 19 years (z-scores) boys/girls chart. The mental emotional health problems were based on the total scoring result from Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) youth-self report for ages 11-17. Statistical analyses included Chi-square and odds ratio, using SPSS v16 software with p< 0,05.
Results : The prevalence of stunting was 36,7%. Statistical analysis revealed that there was no association between stunting and Total Difficulties Score (p= 0,474), emotional symptoms (p=0,532), hyperactivity (p=0,706), peer relationship problems (p=0,239), and prosocial behavior (p=0,741). However there was an association between stunting and conduct problems (OR:0,261 ; 95%CI : 0,070 to 0,970 ; p=0,035).
Conclusions : Not all the adolescents with stunting are having mental emotional health problems. There are some protective factors and risk factors that related to the adolescents. Protective factors could change and so that can help the adolescent to reach the positive development of their psychology.