Mental Health Determinants in Turkey: Investigating an Extensive List of Variables

Tirgil A., Hızıroğlu Aygün A.

INSAN & TOPLUM-THE JOURNAL OF HUMANITY & SOCIETY, vol.11, no.2, pp.47-69, 2021 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.12658/m0618
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.47-69
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study examines the determinants of mental health in Turkey over a broad perspective including sociodemographic factors, health/lifestyle choices, home/neighborhood environment, social interactions, and workplace environment in Turkey. We implement a linear regression model to analyze the factors associated with mental well-being among adults. For this purpose, we utilize individual-level data obtained from the Turkey Health Surveys implemented by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) between 2008-2012. Our results suggest men to report a higher mental health score than women despite controlling for a broad set of observable characteristics. Exposure to noise, violence, and crime at home or in the neighborhood are significantly related to lower mental health scores, especially for women. In contrast, employment is only associated with higher mental health scores for men. Importantly, household income does not appear to be as crucial as non-financial variables such as good health and having someone to trust in case of a severe problem. In addition, rude behavior and discrimination at workplace negatively affect mental well-being for both women and men. We suggest promoting non-financial variables such as trust in others, good health, and a peaceful environment at home, at work, and in the neighborhood in people's lives.