Abstracts & Papers in Stream 5

Purpose: Suicide has become a wide problem in Korean society. This study seeks to examine the influence of early onset of drinking and drinking problems on suicide ideation and attempt among Korean adolescents.
Methods: The 5th Korean Youth Health Risk Behavior Survey 2009, a nationwide dataset collected by the Korean Center for Disease Control, was used for analyses. The data contained a total of 75,066 adolescents between ages of 14 and 19.  
Results: The prevalence of early drinking onset (before age 13) was 16.6% and the problem drinking (defined as 2 or more points in the CRAFFT) among current drinkers was 40%. Among Korean adolescents, 19.1% reported suicidal ideation and 4.6% had attempted suicide. Youths who had began drinking before the age of 13 had higher risk of both having suicidal ideation and attempting suicide (Odds ratio=1.37, 1.45, respectively). Likewise, those identified as problem drinkers had higher risk of having suicidal ideation and having had attempted suicide after controlling for the covariates such as age, grade, economic situation, and depressive mood. The risk differed between male and female students.
Conclusion: An analysis of a large national representative sample of Korean adolescents confirmed previous research regarding the relationship between problematic alcohol behaviors and suicide thoughts and attempts. Intervention and prevention efforts for youth suicide should integrate risk factors such as alcohol problems and depressive thoughts. Further implications are discussed.

Full paper download: 3.4.3 Sulki_Chung_et_al.pdf  
Young carers are children and young people under the age of 18 who provide care to another family member who is suffering from a long-term illness or disability. Young carers experience a double jeopardy owing to their dual role as carers and as children. To date, studies in Taiwan on the issue of care-giving have largely concentrated on the situation of adult carers, female care-givers in particular. As such, little attention has been paid to the daily experiences of young carers. However, involvement in caring can have adverse influences on a child or young person's physical and emotional development. In addition, the impact of caring activities on young caregivers differs from that on adult carers. The caring tasks and experiences involved also distinguish young carers from other non-caring children and young people. These issues pose a challenge to the current welfare system: to what extent has state policy been in concordance with young carers' needs?
Drawing upon qualitative interviews with 22 children and young people who have had the experience of providing care to another family member, this article explores the everyday practices of young carers with regard to what it is like to be a carer, as well as examines their needs and the corresponding welfare strategies required. This research concludes by proposing some policy recommendations. Firstly, schools should be placed as essential points to identify young carers. Secondly, young carers should be able to exercise the right to ask for their needs to be assessed and fulfilled. Thirdly, the 'whole family' approach could be adopted when working with young carers. Fourthly, relevant organizations could address the needs of young carers and to coordinate each aspect of professional intervention. Finally, a further consideration is required to form the scope of young carers.

Health policy amongst care workers in 3 countries: Japan, Korea and UK

The socialization of care is the main aim of the Japanese long-term care insurance system. In order for this system to be sustainable, it is essential to ensure stable social care services and improve the quality of social care.
There are currently about 1.3 million care workers in Japan, and it is estimated that between 2.12 and 2.55 million will be required by 2025. Acquiring human resources is an important issue under current policy reforms which address three main issues: 1) improving the work environment and health care of care workers; 2) human resource development and career improvement; 3) the implementation of medical care in some areas amongst care workers.
In South Korea, where a long-term care insurance system for the elderly began in 2008, improvements in health and reductions in the burden of family care can be found; however, according to a recent survey, staff turnover is increasing. There are three possible reasons for this: low ratings for care work as a profession; the physical and psychological burdens; and the work environment. As a consequence, interest in environmental improvement for care workers is likely to be insufficient.
Compared with UK, where socialization of care is popular, health and safety regulations for care workers function to prevent possible health problems in the workplace. UK's policies aim to ensure employee's safety through education and policy initiatives. These experiences should provide valuable insights from an industrial health and safety viewpoint
In this study, the development of human resource policies is reviewed, set against the experiences of care workers in Japan, Korea and UK. 
We hope that a comparative approach will stimulate discussion on how East Asian countries can improve care worker's health and safety and human development policies related to their workplace environment.

Full paper download: 3.5.1 Agenosono Yoshiko et al.pdf