Health as an essential and necessity of life

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Health as an essential and necessity of life has been described as a whole state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not just the absence of medical illness (World Health Organisation (WHO), 1948). This definition pinpointed the fact that overall health in individual is compose of two areas, complete wellbeing and absence of medical illness (Keyes, 2005). Thus, mental illnesses or psychological distress are involved in the wellness of every human (WHO, 2013). Psychological distress is a negative emotional condition that is an adjunct to the appraisal of threat, harm or loss vis-?-vis an important goal.

The negative emotion has been described in one particular study as unpleasant, frustrating, irritable, worrisome, and anxious (Kanner, Coyne, Schafer, & Lazarus, 1981 in Dhir, Chen, & Nieminen, 2015). Studies have it that, adolescents in correctional homes develops general health, psychological/psychiatric and social relationships problems such as; depression, anxiety, somatization and psychosis among others (Yao & Zhong, 2014; Dhir, Chen, & Nieminen, 2015). Psychological distress could be described as a set of traumatic and unhealthy psychological features such as; general distress, depression, anxiety, somatic illness, psychosis etc (Sagone & De Caroli, 2014).

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Consequently, psychological distress in correctional home ensues from an important demand (stressor) and inadequate resources to mitigate any potential harms like solitude, loss of family relationship, overcrowding, lack of basic needs, threat, unhappiness, abandonments, untreated infections or disease (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984in Dhir, Chen, & Nieminen, 2015).

In life struggle and purpose, psychological distress maybe an inevitable manifestation of living as a result of certain demands, situation and how the event of life is being perceived; if perceived threaten, the victim’s well-being can be affected and such has a negatively implication on the livelihood of such person (Simmons & Nelson, 2001).

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Compared to the rest of the nation, Africa as a marginalized continent or groups (racial/ethnic minorities, low socio-economic groups, poverty) have poorer health and are exposed to a broad range of social and environmental factors especially those in a confined environment like prison and remand home; this is because of the impoverished situation and poor healthcare of these individuals that adversely affect their health generally (Muntaner, Ng, Vanroelen, Phelan & Bierman, 2013; Barnes, Bates & Doracial, 2017). Researchers have revealed not only the race and gender differences in physical health but also the mental health outcomes of adolescents’ family type such as; monogamous compared to polygamous family (Brown, 2003; Williams, Priest, Anderson, 2016).

There have been clear differences in psychological distress across diverse contextual factors. However, a study has it that children and adolescents from monogamous and polygynous families did not differ on behaviour problems such as; hostility, and delinquencies (Al-Krenawi & Slomin-Nevo, 2008). Conflicting findings were found for depression, with significantly higher levels of depression for young people from polygamous families (Al-Krenawi & SlominNevo, 2002).

For instance, some studies have it that, African Americans from polygamous family do experience higher levels of psychological distress due to their proneness to a greater degree and severity of psychosocial stressors such as; marital challenge, dehumanise attitude of prison staff, diverse abuse, lack of social support and financial burdens compared to other groups (Muntaner, Ng, Vanroelen, Phelan & Bierman, 2013). Added to that, the degree and level of severity of psychosocial stressors caused by other socio-economic factors like; age, household income, family structure and background and education level of juveniles and their parent can go a long way to in?uence the psychological and emotional health of black race.

For instance, the widest epidemiologic research of Black race in the USA found that the black race who are younger men experience low psychological distress compare to the older ones (Muntaner, et al, 2013; Barnes, et al., 2017). A study suggests that keeping individuals in a confined situation can trigger anxiety, depression, aggressive behaviour, somatic illness and suicidal intents, thus; there is causal relationship between confinement and psychological distress (Nwaopara & Stanley, 2015). It’s no gainsaying that depression is common in correctional homes; it’s one of the commonest mental health challenges (NIMH, n.d.). Generally, psychiatric illness such as conduct is commoner among the adolescents in correctional setting and further finding shown that incarcerated juveniles who have history or signs conduct disorder experience most links to mental illness (Villines, 2013).

Conduct disorder is a complex behavioural and emotional sequalae in the below age or teenagers that can pose serious concerns to parents, home and society. It is characterized by recurrent and a persistent behavioural disorder that occurs during childhood and adolescence stage, in which the basic rights of individuals or significant age-appropriate societal dos and don’ts or laws are contravened. According to Diagnostic Statistical Manual-V (DSM-V), 2103) conduct disorder is a continuous and consistent type of behaviour which involved; being aggressive to human and animals, deceptive, and destructive behaviour that usually begins in childhood or adolescence.

It is behaviours that violate the basic rights of others with disorderliness, rebelliousness and deceitfulness and unaccepted societal rules (Adeusi, Gesinde, Alao, Adejumo & Adekeye, 2015). A study has it that individuals with CD contravene rights of others and feel no remorseful about offending behaviour committed, destroy others’ property and are fond of being disorderly, rebellious and deceitful to friends, parents, teachers and others in the society. The symptoms of conduct disorder fall into four main dimensions: aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness and serious violation of rules (Frick & Nigg, 2012). Also, DSM-V separate conduct disorder into three types; the childhood onset (the symptoms begin before 10 to 12 years), the adolescence onset type (this occurs at 13 to 19 years) and unspecified onset (the age of onset is not known). In the present study, the focus is on adolescence onset type of conduct disorder. A study has found that, 10% to 15% of below age referred to psychiatric hospitals are found with conduct disorder (Ibrahim & Ibrahim, 2012).

Conduct disorder (CD) is grouped as mild, moderate and severe. Individuals with mild diagnosis exhibit few symptoms such as; causing little or no harm to others but pilfers; one with moderate CD will elicit half of the major symptoms and cause little harm to others, for instance; stealing without confronting the victim or vandalism, while adolescents with severe symptoms will show excessive unaccepted behaviours like; causing much pains to people through their acts or the effects of the crime committed-theft, arson, antisocial conducts etc (America Psychological Association, 2013).

According to some studies conducted within and outside Nigeria, roughly 64.2% of adolescents between age 14 to 21 years in correction home displayed some traits of CD such as; aggression, vandalism, arson, escaping from school and home, abusive acts and disobedience (Johnson, Cohen, & Kasen, 2008; Ajiboye, Yusuf, Issa, Adegunloye & Buhari, 2009). Violation of rule means being disobedient to authority and going against rules of civil society such as; staying out at late, abscond from home and being disobedient to parents and institutions authorities (APA, 2000). Studies have it that various types of family challenges can be distressing to juveniles which could lead to psychological distress.

Childhood adversities are traumatic events that children are exposed to in the family, before attaining adulthood (Nelson, Zeanah, Fox, Marshall, Smyke & Guthrie, 2007). It involves events such as; poor nutrition, poor family background, parent’s ill health and stress; also being the product of early loss of parents; unwanted pregnancy; witnessing domestic violence; dysfunctional parenting styles; parent drugs abuse, volatile environments, mental illness of parent and criminal behaviour; sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse; childhood neglect; victimisation; bullying; medical illness; and war trauma (Kessler, McLaughlin, Greif Green Gruber, Sampson, Zaslavsky, 2010) Similarly, Bowlby in Barbara & Gerard (2013) posited that deprivation at childhood aids psychological challenges. Some juveniles believe that they lack personal control over hardship and negative experienced of life; this belief triggers conduct disorder (Jaffe, 1998; Matricardi, 2006).

Childhood adversity experience is a common phenomenon in society with numbers above half of under age population in USA witnessing one form of adversity or the other before attaining adulthood (McLaughlin et al., 2012). Childhood adversity reflects negative environmental events that are relatively severe or chronic over time, and that are likely to require significant adaptation by a child (McLaughlin, 2016). Adverse childhood experiences are strongly related to risks in which psychopathology in adolescence are trigger (Vachon, Krueger, Rogosch, & Cicchetti, 2015). Adverse childhood experience causes some risk behaviours in adolescents such as; hostility, cruelty, criminality, academic difficulties, low executive functioning etc (Noble, Wolmetz, Ochs, Farah, & McCandliss, 2006; Shonkoff, 2012).

Some studies posited that when cognitive functioning and social stimulation is poor during upbringing, for instance, among children reared in institutions with scanty caregivers’ attachment, cortical level and thickness are decreased all through the cortex (Sheridan, Fox, Zeanah, McLaughlin, & Nelson, 2012; McLaughlin et al., 2013). In a situation where cognitive deprivation is minute, one may expect that the impacts should be closed to those noticed in nondeprived participants in an institution. However, recent studies asserted that the experience of a child in his environs influences his ways of thinking, perception and interpretation of events later in life (Ryle & Kerr, 2014). Other personality factors like locus of control do determine the level of possible psychological distress in individual adolescents (Sheridan, et al., 2012).

Rotter in Matricardi (2006) sees “locus of control” as the levels at which individual have the belief that the situations that happened to them are as a result of internal versus external factors”. It is the reinforcements that an individual is believing about the cause of their actions and that beliefs are used to guide the type of attitudes and behaviours such individual can display in life event (Kazdin, 2000). Rotter developed this term and had done great amount of studies on this topic; individuals with an internal locus of control has ability to manage distressing conditions adequately by utilising problem-solving skills than those with external locus of control.

People with external locus of control tend to outcomes of their behaviour as a result of external forces or blaming their shortcoming on situations (Kazdin, 2000). According to Dollinger (2000), adolescents with high internal locus of control do have the believe that they are in control of their own destiny and that the more effort they put in life the more results they get. While adolescents having high external locus of control do attribute their failure or success to chance or luck, and in school sees examiners as biased or most times blame or hang it God’s will. In study of Rotter (1990), individuals with high internal Locus of control do hold that their own efforts and dedications can determine and aid changes in their situations.

They do think that future is just one’s own performance and tasks which implicates the success or failure in life. This kind of belief makes the individual to be confident and it more motivated to yield outcomes. According to Rotter (1990), internal Locus of control is “the level to which individuals expect that reinforcement or a result of their actions is a personal characteristic”. One with internal locus of control are; full of accountability, not easily influence, confident in their belief, hardworking and result oriented and independent.

People with external Locus of control do believe that, they lack control over what is happening around them and people around them will control their fortune or actions (Rotter, 1990). They are likely to attribute their success to chance or accident and luck but not their responsibilities. These individuals according to Rotter (1990) tend to; blame the events of life on others when experiencing distress, believe that success is by luck or chance or others, believe that their efforts cannot change the status quo and distress in difficult conditions.

According to Strauser (2002), locus of controls is the ability of individual to believe in his or her abilities to control events of life. This belief aids the person’s life, ether failure or success. Individual’s failure or success maybe the outcomes of the person’s ability to attribute what happened to them to luck or chance (Basm & Sesen, 2006). Rotter (1966) stated categorically that individual who feel that they are in charge of their life do dependents on chance and are rule by externality and individuals who have the belief that they are in charge of whatever happen to them are more likely to be controlled by a belief in internality.

Often times when the environmental factors are not sufficient to described the failures or success of people, locus of control aids and makes the events concise and precise. Considering these explanations of locus of control, one can understand why people can be ruled either by externality or internality of locus (Taylor, 2006). Adolescents who are high on internal locus of control are more sensitive, morally inclined and observant compared to those with high external locus of control. Also, adolescents with internality are purposeful and tenacious in learning as well as prone to solving some situational challenges and uncertainty (Wolk & Ducette, 1984). Stage of adolescence allow teenagers to undergo physical changes and emotional feeling like constant irritation which trigger some risky and distressing behaviours in them (Hashmi, 2013).

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Health as an essential and necessity of life. (2019, Nov 25). Retrieved from

Health as an essential and necessity of life

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