Youth in Vietnam more despondent despite material gains

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Though Vietnamese youth are materially better off than they were five years ago, they are suffering far higher rates of depression and despondency, a local news website quoted a national survey as saying Wednesday.


Associate Professor Vu Manh Loi from the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences told Vietnamnet that young people and their families now had far more property, access to information, means of trasportation and modern comforts like air conditioners than ever before. 


But Loi, one of the authors of the Survey Assessment of Vietnamese Youth (SAVY) report, said interviews with 10,000 people aged 14-25 showed that 73 percent of them used to feel despondent, almost double the numbers recorded by the same survey in 2005.


Over 21 percent of those surveyed said they were absolutely pessemistic about their futures, while 4.1 percent have thought about committing suicide at least once, according to the report released this month.


The despondency rate is higher among younger people, with 75 percent of those aged 14-17 saying they were used to have the feeling.


The same rate was also recorded at the 18-21 year-old group, while over 65 percent of people aged 22-25 said they also felt despondent, the survey said.


The authors said that teenagers' moods were determined most by their studying environment, and that overwork at school was one of the main causes of depression. 


Older respondents cited marital problems and troubles at work as the main issues involved in their depression.


The latest survey also showed that youths in southeastern Vietnam were the most optimistic about their future, while those in the northern central region were the least optimistic.


People aged 22-25 were more optimistic than people aged 14-21, while women were less optimistic than men, according to the survey, which was conducted by the General Office for Population and the General Statistics Office in 63 provinces and cities beginning in 2008.

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