Psychological issues rising among Chinese students

11:38, March 10, 2010      

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The mental health of China's youngsters is on the decline, with 60 percent of college students feeling isolated and 80 percent feeling social injustice, a survey has suggested.

Those feelings find their expression through irregular behavior, skipping classes, autism and rebellion, and have also led to psychological problems like Internet addiction and suicide, according to a recent survey released by the China Population Communication Center.

"The current crisis of personality makes me wonder whether we have failed to build up our young people in the country?" said Pan Guiyu, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

The survey polled 133 students in Beijing schools through face-to-face interviews from March to June last year.

The problems seem to increase as children get older.

Primary and junior high school students did not show personality disorders. Senior high school students, although having a higher incidence of psychological troubles, covered up problems by engaging in preparations for the college entrance examination. Those who went to college showed the worst state of mind, the report revealed.

In the survey, three of 10 college respondents said they never communicated with their parents, while 25 percent will not talk to their parents unless they experience a conflict.

Nearly 50 percent said they lacked a sense of security in social interactions, and another 50 percent were not content with their lives. Two of 10 felt trapped in a state of emptiness and 60 percent felt lonely.

The report also said that 80 percent of college students complained about social inequality and some of them had developed an intense anger.

"I'm not surprised by the survey results at all," said a college student surnamed Xu.

"On the one hand, most of the college students are from the post-1980 generation who don't have tough minds. On the other, they are indeed facing serious challenges such as unemployment, purchasing houses and the pressure of life," Xu said.

There have been a growing number of college students showing psychological disorders when encountering problems.

Pan Quanhui, a 23-year-old student at the University of Hong Kong, committed suicide earlier this month because he could not get rid of the pimple on his face.

Pei Meng, a 19-year-old student in Nanyang Normal University of Sichuan province, jumped to her death from a building on Jan 15 this year due to a poor performance on her final exam.

"To instill the students with an ability to resist frustration is crucial," said Hu Deng, a member of the Chinese Psychological Society and professor at Renmin University of China.

According to research by the China Youth and Children Research Association, 30 million youngsters below the age of 17 are suffering from mental troubles.

It also said anxiety disorders among college students increased 8 percent between 1992 and 2005, and depression rose by 7 percent.

This is partly because families have failed to develop their children's mental toughness, according to Pan Guiyu.

"In most cases they are spoiled and have not been taught to be independent, responsible and express gratitude," she said.

On Chinese mainland, 34 percent of people younger than 25 are the only children in their families.

On the other hand, as migrant workers flow from the countryside to cities, there are 58 million children left behind without the guidance of parents.

"My worries about the personality of China's youngsters are beyond description," Pan said.

Source: Xinhua
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