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Socio-Economic Factors and Mental Health of Young People in India and China: An Elusive Link with Globalization


concerning this article should be addressed to M. Aslam Bhat, Centre of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir, Srinagar 190006, J&K, India. Email:


Globalization and its related social, cultural, and economic changes have significant mental health outcomes for young people. However, mental health disorders among youth are seldom included in the range of problems linked to globalization. It is imperative that these multifaceted associations are considered in light of the substantial and increasing burden of disease caused by mental illness, particularly in Asian countries, which are comparatively young and in next few decades will be the major sources of the growth of world’s young population. The evidence reviewed in this study makes an argument that globalization has increased [relative] poverty and deprivation, social and income inequality, migration, occupational stress, educational competition, and educated unemployment in India and China. Simultaneously there is evidence which shows that these variables are causally linked with mental health of young people. Altogether, these phenomena are accompanied by higher rates of suicide among lower class, migrant, and student youth. This substantiates the proposition that globalization has significant consequences for the mental health of young people. Some interventions for debate and discussion are considered.