Manoshastra Counseling and Research Center

Prevalence and correlates of Depressive Symptoms in Young Adolescents of Nepal

Prevalence and correlates of Depressive Symptoms in Young Adolescents of Nepal

Trishna Ghosh Chhetri, Suman Prasad Adhikari and Sijo George

Nepalese Army Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal

Objectives: This research was conducted to find out the prevalence of depressive symptoms and assess the symptomatology in adolescent students of Nepal.

Background: Depressive symptoms are prevalent among school going adolescents and there is a significant relationship between prevalence of depression and socio-demographic characteristics of adolescent students. The objective was to study the socio-demographic correlates of depression in adolescent students.

Materials and methods: A descriptive study was conducted among the 3000 adolescent school going population to assess the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms. Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale-2 was used for identifying those adolescents, who were depressed and having symptoms of depression.

Results: The mean age of the study participants was 15.73 ± 1.22. In the present study 11.1% (334) of the school-going adolescents were found depressed. Out of 334 (11.1%) school-going depressed adolescents, 189 (6.3%) were having mild level of depression, 113 (3.8%) were having moderate level of depression and 32 (1.1%) were having severe level of depression. The depressive symptoms, assessed among the adolescence by using the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale-2, were dysphoric mood, anhedonia/negative effect, negative self evaluation, and somatic complaints. The findings of the present study suggest that all the depressive symptoms such as dysphoric mood, anhedonia/negative effect, negative self evaluation, and somatic complaints were found significantly correlated with depression. Highest percentage of severely depressed adolescent students was found among the 12th standard students (19.5%).

Conclusions: Depressive symptoms were prevalent among the adolescent students without any difference in the socio-demographic correlates studied. The academic performance of the depressed adolescents was found significantly impaired. Depressed adolescents were found with increased suicidal ideation, thoughts and plan for suicide, poor in psychological well-being and general health, high level of anxiety and poor in global adjustment. Psychological intervention programme is found to be very effective in managing depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and thoughts and plan for suicide, and thus helped to improve psychological well-being, general health, anxiety level, global adjustment and academic performance of the school going adolescents.

Keywords: Depression; Dysphoric mood; Reynolds adolescent depression scale-2; Adolescence; Anxiety

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