Contributing Factors To Psychological Distress, Coping Strategies, and Help-seeking Behaviours

Among Adolescents Living in the Klang Valley People's Housing Project (PPR)


The impact of COVID-19 on the population is widespread and the low socio-economic group had the worse impact. In Malaysia, this group includes those living in the People’s Housing Project (PPR). Adolescents living in PPR communities are some of the most vulnerable populations of adolescents in the urban setting, as they were already experiencing pre-existing conditions of vulnerability. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis further aggravated these deprivations and low-income families in PPR communities are disproportionately affected.

The main objective of this study is to determine the mental health status of adolescents living in Klang Valley PPRs during the COVID-19 pandemic; with two specific objectives:

1. To determine the prevalence of psychological distress among adolescents living in the PPRs during the COVID-19 pandemic; and

2. To explore the source of psychological distress, coping strategies and their help-seeking behaviour in dealing with psychological distress among adolescents living in the PPRs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was a mixed-methods study funded by UNICEF. The participants were adolescents aged 10 to 17 years living in selected PPRs in the Klang Valley. From the 37 PPRs, a total of 1,578 adolescents completed the questionnaire and 47 participated in the in-depth interviews (IDIs). Data collection commenced on 1 April 2022 and ended on 30 September 2022.


Cover of MH Among Children & Adolescents 2023 report
Institute for Health Behavioural Research (IHBR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Ministry of Health Malaysia, UNICEF Malaysia
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