COMPARATIVE STUDY OF STUDENTS' MENTAL HEALTH AND SUPPORT SYSTEMS FOR SCHOOLS IN TAIWAN AND JAPAN
 
Kumagai, K., Kaneko, M., Oki, I., Tanaka, T. and Yamanaka, K., University of Tsukuba, Japan
 
One thousand five hundred and twelve junior high and high school students in Taipei, Taiwan were tested with the School Life Support Test, developed in Japan, and the data were compared with 1681 junior high and high school students in Tokyo, Japan. The test was composed of 8 kinds of main scales and a validity scale. Japanese students scored significantly higher on the School Refusal scale and Anti-social scale than Taiwanese students (signifying a poorer condition of mental health). However, Taiwanese students scored significantly higher on the Withdrawal scale, Burring scale, Bad physical condition scale, Severe depression scale, and the Inattention and impulsiveness scale. Both students scored at the same level on the Family problem scale. The distinguishing point of these results is that the 9th grade male students in Taiwan had especially high scores for each scale. Schools in Taiwan generally place a high value on discipline and academics, and they have a better support system for students. When students in Taiwan want counseling/special education services (for mildly disabled and gifted students), they can usually be served while they are taking regular courses. On the other hand, Japanese schools place a great deal of value on and students' freedom and intention to study. Japanese schools have counselors for students' mental health in the general education system, and there is a special education system for handicapped students. However, Japan's school support system is not flexible for use with all students.