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Mental Health Indicators among Generation Y.


Malaysia National Transformation Program 2020, highlighted the critical factors need to be considered in preparing the communities. A big investment in human resources is necessary for

Malaysia to become a developed nation with high income. Many challenges need to be focus and one of it is the mental health issues. Mental Health is important, as it will affect our quality of life. With a healthy relationship with family, friends and society, it will help the human to have a clear mind and able to expand our self-potential and ability to overcome the turbulence in life. In addition, the success of the transformation program is depending on the capability of the individual in facing the challenges. Moreover, will lead in creating a strong and resilience community.

However, there are many reports stated that mental health issues becoming critical in Malaysia. The definition of mental health is a state of well-being where every individual realizes his or her own potential, able to cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to her or his community (WHO, 2001). Malaysia Mental Health Act 2001, explains mental health as related to any mental health, arrested or incomplete development of the mind, psychiatric disorder or any other disorder or disability of the mind. The capacity of the individual, the group and the environment to interact with one another in ways that promote subjective well-being, optimal development of mental abilities and the achievement of individual and collective goals is the definition of mental health. (Jamaiyah, 2000).

The 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey indicated that 12% of Malaysians aged between 18 and 60 are suffering from some forms of mental health (The Coverage Bureau, 2016). The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) and the Health Ministry statistics showed that mental health problems among students rose to 13 percent in 1996, 19.4 percent in 2006 and 20 percent in 2011 (Borneo Post, 2013). He also urged the government to introduce the guidelines under the mental health care for employees to ensure the sustainability of the employee's resilience (The Coverage Bureau, 2016).

Not many researches have been conducted can be referred as the evidence to validate the determinants of mental health issues in Malaysia. Therefore, this study close the gap in the literature review related to mental health studies. This study examines the relationship between the variables of socioeconomic and mental health among graduate students in private university. A well-being in a person's life is subjective. However, it is positively related to how an individual copes with its mental and physical health, his job performance (or business ventures), his personal relationship with the people around him as well as his marital status (Sirgy, et al., 2006). This study narrows down this broad topic of life well-being to explore in three component of it (financial, social support and physical health).

The study test the affects of financial health among of Gen Y in Malaysia. Knowing of financial knowledge and planning are solid factors for financial health (Tie and Nizam, 2016). The specialists in the field of personal finance can manage on ways to helping hand the average financial literacy of Gen-Y in the country. Malaysian should also be made alert that financial planning is important to those who with weak financial status.

In Malaysia, the existence of extreme information and the burden of heavy workload and examination becoming the major sources of stress among students. These sources of stress will cause harmful effect to academic performance and health (Poon and Ong, 2012).

Concisely research on financial health, social health and physical health is not substantial in the Malaysian context. This study, therefore, serves as a direction to explore the relationship between financial health, social health and physical health among Gen Y in Pahang, Malaysia. The findings of this research may not be used to generalize the society globally, but only communities in the region, especially in Malaysia.

The Gen-Y

It is crucial to focus and understand the Gen-Y's cohort's identity and characteristic in order interpret the result accurately. The clarification on the beginning and ends of the Gen-Y is not agreed by academia. Here are some of the dabates ; Broadbridge, et al. (2007) consider those born between the years 1978 to 1994 as Gen-Y, Kumar and Lim (2008) categorises those born in between 1980 to 1994. Deal, Altman and Rogelbey (2010) puts those born in between 1980 to 2004 as Gen-Y instead. This study will adopt the age range of between the years 1977 - 1998. The other terms for the cohorts differs; USA Today (2005) calls them Generation Y but majority of publications refer them as the Millennials (Deal, et al., 2010; Asian Institute of Finance, 2015; PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 2015).

Cudmore et. al, 2010; Deal, Altman and Rogelbey, 2010

Research Question

This research identifies the relationship between an independent variable of socioeconomic which is consist of financial, social support, physical health and dependent variable which is mental health.

The questions that can be arisen here are; to explore what is the relationship between financial, social health and physical health towards generation Y mental health?

Research Objective

A study is required to be conducted in investigating on how socioeconomic correlates with mental health. The main purpose of the study is to identify any significant relationship between socioeconomic and mental health by exploring the following research objective; to identify the relationship between financial, social health and physical health towards generation Y mental health.


H1: Financial health has a significant positive relationship with mental health.

H2: Social health has a significant positive relationship with mental health.

H3: Physical health has a significant positive relationship with mental health.

Research Design & Methodology

This study proposes a quantitative research. The target population are students from few private universities in Pahang that will represent Gen Y. Respondent are from all level background. The respondent are everyone who are easily available, thus constitute a convenient sampling and using sampling procedure that has the least bias and offers. Other advantages using this method is the ability to obtain a large number of completed questionnaires quickly, conveniently, and economically (Sekaran, 2003).

Data Collection and Sampling Methods

The explanation on samples are the selection of part of the population and the study come up with conclusion or interpretation about the entire population. 250 questionnaires are distributed to all graduate students, based on recommendation by (Roscoe, 1975; Sekaran and Bougie, 2011), where sample size larger than 30 and less than 500 are appropriate for most research. All the data that been received will be analyzed using the SPSS version 22.0. The analysis include descriptive, reliability and correlation, and regression analysis.

Prior to attempting the survey, they need to inform the purpose, duration, and intention of the survey to all participants and get them to accept the terms. Thus far, institutions familiar with subject matter sourced and structured the survey design from various published existing literature (Bedewy and Gabriel, 2015; Radeef and Ismail, 2014), also based on studies from prominent subject matter experts (Lusardi and Mitchell, 2011; Faleel, Lee and Foo, 2012). The researcher writes the questions to suit the language semantics of Malaysians. Majority of the designed questions are five-type Likert scale responses ranges between '(1) - Strongly Disagree' to '(5) -Strongly Agree' to observe criteria which are subjective in nature; particularly those that explores perceptions, opinions, attitudes and behaviors of participants (Crowther and Lancaster, 2012). The survey is in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

Analysis Plan

We use Microsoft Excel and IBM SPSS Statistical Software to compile, translate, tabulate and analyze the collected data. Since the data is derived from multiple sources, it is tested on it's reliability using Cronbach's Alpha test and correlation checking. Next is using factor analysis to determine the set of determinants for financial satisfaction. To ensure the strength of the components that construct the determinants are valid and correlated, the new set of determinants undergo a reliability check. Finally, descriptive analysis on the data set and examining the final determinants for correlations to determine the validity of the study's hypotheses.

Result, Analysis and Discussion

In this research, 250 questionnaires is distributed students in private university in Pahang. The total questionnaires returned was 220. The majority gender of respondents is female (61.6%) and minority are male (38.4%). The majority age group of the respondents is 21 to 25 years (41.9%), followed by age group of below less than 20 years (33.5%), and 26 to 30 years (24.7%).

Validity & Reliability

The measurement of each construct is assessed for the reliability as these factors can influence the quality of data obtained (Sekaran and Bougie, 2011). The reliability coefficient for each measure was examined by computing the value of the Cronbach's alpha. The reliability of financial, social support & physical health was 0.815, 0.821, and 0.806 respectively. Mental health as the dependent variable has a good reliability coefficient of 0.808. These statistical analyses confirms that the measurement scales in this study is in line with the acceptable standards or reliability analysis (Sekaran, 2003). The summary of reliability analysis is in Table 3.

Correlation Analysis

The variables of financial, social support and physical health are all found positively related to the mental health. The Pearson correlation between financial and mental health is 0.819** which means positively and significantly correlated, and it has a very strong relationship (Pallant 2011). Thus, the relationship between all independent variables' dimensions with the dependent variable existed. The relationship between social support and mental health is 0.712** which describe there is positive and significant correlated, and it has a strong relationship (Pallant 2011). For the relationship between physical health and mental health the relationship is 0.508**, it is a moderate relationship, but it is positively and significantly correlated (Pallant 2011).

The relationship of all variables has been just in the range of moderate, very strong and also significant relationships. All variables namely financial, social support and physical health are found all positive relationships related to mental health.

Discussion and Conclusion

This study investigated the inter correlations of financial health, social health and physical health among Gen Y in Malaysia. The results showed that there is a significant positive among Gen Y in Malaysia. The results showed that there is a significant positive relationship between financial health and mental health among Gen Y in Malaysia. Financial health does promote a better mental health through financial knowledge and good manner in planning.

This validates with the previous research (Tie and Nizam, 2016), which indicated that high levels of financial health are positively related with mental health. Another finding demonstrated that higher levels of social health will lead to the good of mental health (Ramli, Alavi and Ahmadi, 2048).

In addition, a significant positive correlation was found between physical health and mental health among gen Y in Malaysia. The findings of this study showed that Gen Y, when facing good level of financial, social and physical health, they will have high levels of good mental health. This supports a previous research on investigating how students' practices on academic performance are associated with their level of mental health and stress during undergraduate studies (Orem and Bedwell, 2008). Furthermore, the results indicated that there is a significant relationship between financial, social support and physical health to the mental health.

Moreover, this study is conducted by survey, which have restriction on interacting with the participants. In future in order to gain more insights, the researcher should conduct a selective interview among participants. With this approach may explore more interesting initial outcomes.


Innovation & Research Management Center (iRMC), Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Internal Grant


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Rusnita Alimun (*)

Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia


Zurina Ismail

College of Business and Accounting, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia

Shahrul Suhaimi Ab Shokor

College of Business and Accounting, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia

(*) Corresponding Author
Table 1: Generation Demographic

Demographic   Born         Current in (2017)

Gen Y         1977 -1998   38 - 17
Gen X         1965 - 1976  39 - 52
Baby Boomers  1946 - 1964  53 - 69

Cudmore et. al, 2010; Deal, Altman and Rogelbey, 2010

Table 2: Demographic Characteristics of Responding Respondents

Demographic Variables   Categories    Percentage of samples (%)

                        Male          38.4
Gender                  Female        61.6
                        Less than 20  33.5
Age                     21 - 25       41.9
                        26 - 30       24.7

Table 3: Reliability Analysis

Variables        No. of Items  Cronbach's Alpha

Financial         5             0.815
Social Support    5             0.821
Physical Health   5             0.806
Mental health    10             0.808

Table 4: Correlation Analysis

Variables             F           SH          PH          MH

Financial Health (F)  1
Social Health (SH)     .748 (**)  1
Physical Health (PH)   .728 (**)   .707 (**)  1
Mental Health (MH)     .819 (**)   .712 (**)   .508 (**)  1

Table 5: Hypothesis Results

Hypothesis                                       Results

H1: Financial health has a significant positive  Accept
relationship with mental health.
H2: Social health has a significant positive     Accept
relationship with mental health.
H3: Physical health has a significant positive   Accept
relationship with mental health.
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Author:Alimun, Rusnita; Ismail, Zurina; Shokor, wShahrul Suhaimi Ab
Publication:Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Apr 1, 2018
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