Introduction: Studies have shown the adverse impact of exposure to community violence on adolescent health. However, most of the studies were conducted in high-income countries. This study aimed at assessing the community violence exposure and the determinants of mental health problems among adolescents in Ambon, a post-conflict area in Indonesia. Material and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, school-based study involving 511 of 10th-graders from six randomly selected high schools in Kotamadya Ambon. Our participants were assessed using a set of questionnaires including the Strength Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to measure mental health problems, and the child version of the Screen for Adolescent Violence Exposure (KID-SAVE) to measure community violence exposure. The hierarchical regression analyses were used to explore the determinants of mental health problems. Results: In this study, boys reported more exposure to community violence (both in frequency and severity) than girls. Meanwhile, the girls reported higher emotional problems than boys. The hierarchical regression analyses revealed that in the total sample and among boys, the community violence exposure was associated with mental health problems. However, it was the perceived impact of community violence exposure which showed an association with mental health problems among girls. Conclusions: This study revealed the high community violence exposure among adolescents living in a post-conflict setting in Indonesia. The study also found gender differences in the determinants of mental health problems among adolescents who were exposed to CVE.
- Community violence exposure
- Mental health