RESEARCH WITH EAST LONDON ADOLESCENTS: COMMUNITY HEALTH SURVEY (RELACHS STUDY)
Haines, M., Booy, R., Head, J., Taylor, S. and Stansfeld, S., Queen Mary, University of London and Viner, R., University College London, United Kingdom
National and international surveys have not provided enough data on the health of ethnic minority and socially deprived adolescents. The aim of the RELACHS study is to conduct an adolescent health survey in one of the most deprived and ethnically varied areas in the UK. RELACHS is a cross- sectional school-based epidemiological study of a representative sample of 2790 adolescents (11-14 years) from 28 schools in East London. Questionnaires were group administered and completed individually by the pupils in classrooms. Outcomes measured were: mental and physical health, health behaviours, social capital and socio-demographic factors using questions that were age-appropriate, reliable and valid. Mental health was measured using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Response rate was 84% and 74% of the sample was non-white. At 11- 12 years the proportion of high scorers on the SDQ in RELACHS was 21% for boys and 20% for girls compared to 11% for boys and 7% for girls nationally. At 13-14 years high scorers on the SDQ in RELACHS were 16% for boys and 24% for girls compared to 9% for boys and 6% for girls nationally. Adolescents in East London had much higher rates of psychological problems compared with national level rates. Part of the explanation could relate to high rates of social deprivation and part to ethnic differences. These baseline results will form the foundation for a longitudinal prospective study of adolescent health.