Indian students in New Zealand report low levels of perceived security at school, with some remaining absent as a result, according to a new survey//.
The Youth 2000 national survey, conducted by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and Auckland University, asked 922 Asian students about their mental and physical health, besides experiences at home and school.
Chinese and Indian students made up the majority of students who call themselves Asians. The survey, however, did not include students who spoke limited English and fee-paying non-New Zealand students. Indians comprise a little over one percent of New Zealand's population of around four million.
The survey said though Indian students perceive low levels of security, they report less bullying than New Zealand European students. At the same time, the survey also found that Indian students in New Zealand suffer worse experiences of bullying than New Zealand Europeans.
Most Indian students plan to stay at school until year 13.
The report said that mental health was a matter of particular concern for Indian students. They report higher levels of depression than New Zealand European students and many students report suicidal thoughts and attempts. It is worse in the case of female Indian students.
Many Indian female students report missing breakfast and being unhappy with their body weight.
What was of particular concern was that Indian students, especially females, report low levels of physical activity. This is a particular concern since Indians face higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes as adults in New Zealand.
According to the report's lead author, Kumanan Rasanathan, young Asian New Zealanders were healthy, but there were some areas of concern, such as mental health and bullying. Poor access to healthcare, particularly among young Chinese, was also worrying.
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