Mental health profiles and quality of life among Korean adolescents.


In an attempt to identify and intervene with students in need of services, the South Korean government has implemented national mental health screening. However, concerns raised about the unintended stigmatization of the screening assessment that focuses on student deficits prompts the need for additional research. This study evaluated the potential utility of an alternative screening approach that considers student strengths, in addition to symptoms of distress. Using a sample of 1,190 Korean adolescents enrolled in grades seven to nine, two latent profile analyses were conducted to identify underlying mental health strength and distress subtypes. Results identified five subtypes of psychological strengths and three subtypes of psychological distress. As hypothesized, students with higher levels of strengths and lower levels of distress reported better quality of life, academic performance, and higher life satisfaction. Implications for school based mental health screening and future directions for researchers and practitioners are discussed.