The article, “Mental Health Problems Among Adolescents With Mild Intellectual Disability and Relation to Sleep Quality and Perceived Social Support: A Comparative Study” by Dilek Avci, investigates the mental health issues prevalent among adolescents with mild intellectual disabilities (ID) in Turkey, focusing on the influence of sleep quality and perceived social support. Conducted between January and June 2019, the study involved 188 participants, half of whom had mild ID, while the other half did not. The research aimed to identify the mental health challenges faced by this demographic, understand the contributing factors, and explore the differences in sleep quality and social support between adolescents with and without ID.

The study revealed that adolescents with mild ID are at a significantly higher risk of mental health problems compared to their peers without ID. It identified several predictive factors for these mental health issues, including gender, age, birth order, maternal age, parents’ education level, sleep quality, and perceived social support. The findings underscore the importance of addressing sleep disturbances and enhancing social support to mitigate mental health problems in adolescents with mild ID.

The article discusses the prevalence of ID, highlighting that it affects 1% to 3% of the global population, with mild cases constituting 85%. It notes the rising number of students attending special education programs in Turkey, pointing to an increasing recognition and need for support among this population.

The research utilized various tools to collect data, including the Personal Information Form, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Perceived Social Support Scale. Results showed that adolescents with mild ID had worse sleep quality and lower levels of perceived social support compared to their non-ID peers. Additionally, a significant portion of adolescents with mild ID exhibited borderline or abnormal difficulties according to the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.

The study emphasizes the link between poor sleep quality and increased mental health problems, as well as the protective role of perceived social support against these issues. It highlights the necessity for effective prevention and intervention strategies tailored to the needs of adolescents with mild ID, including improving sleep quality and enhancing social support systems.

The article concludes by stressing the vulnerability of adolescents with mild ID to mental health problems and the urgent need for targeted strategies to support their mental health and well-being. It calls for further research to understand the underlying mechanisms of these mental health challenges and to develop effective interventions.

Mental health problems among adolescents with mild intellectual disability and relation to sleep quality and perceived social support: A comparative study. (2024). Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 62(3), 39-50. doi: