METHODS: Overall, 307 male and female adolescents (aged 13-18 y old) living in 9 private orphanages located in Klang Valley, Malaysia, participated in this cross-sectional study. Brief COPE scale and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 were used as the main instruments in the current study.
RESULTS: The results of the current study showed female adolescents and participants with a higher level of education were more likely to experience stress. The results also showed significant differences between boys and girls in using of coping mechanisms in self-distraction (t = -2.39, P = .01), substance use (t = 2.12, P = .03), use of emotional support (t = -2.70, P = .001), humor (t = 2.28, P = .02), and religion (t = -2.19, P = .02). Denial, venting, religion, humor, planning, and active coping were identified as predictors of stress among participants.
DISCUSSION: The results showed a high prevalence of stress and a negative coping pattern among participants. The finding of the current study also showed the urgency of taking immediate action to reduce stress and improve coping methods among Malaysian institutional adolescents.