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DEMOGRAPHIC AND SOCIO-GEOGRAPHIC FACTORS
Women generally reported higher levels of psychological distress than men, with 14% of women having high or very high levels of distress and 23% having moderate levels of distress, compared with 9.6% and 19% for men, respectively (see datacube table 2 for more detail).
Over the past decade, rates of high and very high levels of psychological distress have followed a similar pattern, with women having consistently higher levels of distress than men (see Graph 3, below).
K5 age and sex results
The 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) showed that over 30% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over had experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the last four weeks, more than twice the rate of the general population (12%). Community surveys using the K5 show similar results. Across a number of community surveys drawn together for analysis (Jorm et al, 2012), the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander population had a higher prevalence rate of high or very high psychological distress scores for both sexes and all adult age groups.
After adjusting for age, data showed that while levels of psychological distress vary little according to State/Territory or remoteness (see datacube tables 3 and 4), they were related to socio-economic factors as measured by the Socio-Economic Index of Areas (SEIFA) Index of Relative Disadvantage. In 2007-08, people who lived in areas of most disadvantage had significantly higher levels of psychological distress than people who lived in areas of least disadvantage. Just under one in five people who lived in the most disadvantaged areas had high or very high levels of distress (19%), compared with 9.3% of people in the least disadvantaged areas (see Graph 4, below, and datacube table 5).