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Mastery, perceived stress and health-related behaviour in northeast Arnhem Land: a cross-sectional study

Author(s): Daniel Mark | Brown Alex | Dhurrkay J Garnggulkpuy | Cargo Margaret | O'Dea Kerin

Journal: International Journal for Equity in Health
ISSN 1475-9276

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Background Indigenous peoples in Australia are disadvantaged on all markers of health and social status across the life course. Psychosocial factors are implicated in the aetiology of chronic diseases and in pathways underpinning social health disparities. Minimal research has investigated psychosocial factors and health in Indigenous peoples. This study evaluated associations between mastery, perceived stress, and health-related behaviour for a remote Indigenous population in Australia. Methods Complete data on mastery (the degree to which individuals feel in control of their lives), perceived stress, physical activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption were obtained for 177 participants in a community-based chronic disease risk factor survey. Psychosocial questionnaires were completed as an option during community screening (response rate = 61.9%). Extensive consultation facilitated the cross-cultural adaptation of measures. Results Mastery was inversely correlated with perceived stress measures (p < 0.009): recent stress, r = -0.47; chronic stress, r = -0.41; and youth stress, r = -0.30. Relationships between mastery and behaviour varied according to age group (
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