AccScience Publishing / IJPS / Volume 10 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/ijps.0339
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Climate change, natural disasters, and mental health of adolescents: A qualitative study from Bangladesh

Md Abu Bakkar Siddik1 Morioum Sarkar Munmun2 Zobayer Ahmed3* Kamruzzaman Nabil4 Nazirum Mubin5
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1 State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Science, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 Department of Economics and Banking, Faculty of Social Sciences, International Islamic University Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh
4 School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
5 Department of Radiotherapy, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
IJPS 2024, 10(2), 61–70; https://doi.org/10.36922/ijps.0339
Submitted: 16 March 2023 | Accepted: 1 November 2023 | Published: 26 February 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ )
Abstract

Bangladesh is among the countries severely affected by climate change, experiencing annual flooding in certain regions during the rainy season. These floods force people from affected areas to seek refuge in temporary shelters. However, life in these shelters presents significant challenges, including physical and mental health concerns, as well as socioeconomic challenges. Despite this, the mental health of adolescents living in flood shelters in natural disaster-prone areas remained understudied. This study aimed to examine the mental health of adolescents residing in flood shelters. Qualitative research tools are particularly effective for investigating mental health issues among specific age groups during disasters. Therefore, we conducted in-depth interviews with 53 adolescents who lived in shelters during the 2022 floods in northeastern Bangladesh. Our findings revealed a concerning prevalence of mental health issues among adolescents affected by floods. Rates of depression, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were notably elevated. Approximately 60.72% of the boys were suffering from PTSD, with around 71.42% of them experiencing depression. Among girls, 80% were affected by PTSD, while 84% were suffering from depression. Our research also highlights a gender disparity, with girls exhibiting higher levels of depression and trauma than boys. These findings provide valuable insights to guide both government and non-government organizations in formulating future policies regarding natural disaster management.

Keywords
Adolescents
Climate change
Flood shelters
Mental health
Natural disaster
Funding
None.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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