Background : Stunting is a chronic nutritional problems in the world, especially in developing countries. In Indonesia, according to RISKESDAS 2013, Central Sulawesi is one of the 20 provinces which has higher prevalence of stunting children than national has. Previous researches stated that stunted children followed longitudinally were found to have more anxiety, depression, and lower self-esteem than non-stunted children at age 17. The aim of this study is to prove the existence and strenght of correlation between stunting and mental emotional disturbance among adolescencts in Bungku Pesisir, Morowali.
Material : The research method used was analytic observational cross-sectional study. The data was collected from the first year of junior and senior high-school students in August 2017. Total sampling was used and a sample of 179 people meet the inclusion criteria. The instruments used were a microtoise, WHO Growth Reference and self report Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. Statistical analysis was done by chi-square test (A= 0.05).
Results : The results of this study showed stunting among adolescence during the year of 2017 amounted to 35,8% and not stunting at 64,2%. Total Difficulties Score (TDS) of SDQ showed 28,1% of stunting adolescence has mental emotional problem. More girls developed emotional problem (p=0,01) and boys tend to developed conduct problem (p=0,013). Based on the statistical analysis between stunting and emotional problem, obtained p value = 0,040; phi coefficient 0,153; OR =0,400 with CI = 0,163-0,980. No correlation between stunting and TDS (p=0,411).
Conclusions : The research shows that there is a very weak correlation between stunting and emotional disturbance in adolescents. This indicates that adolescents with lower physical height is not definitive to experience psychosocial problems, there are other predisposing and protective factors. Thus, it is highly essesntial to emphasize the protective factors to prevent further emotional mental disturbance on both adolescents and adults in Indonesia.