American Journal of Applied Sciences

Prevalence of Depression among High School Students and its Relation to Family Structure

Ali Daryanavard, Abdoulhossain Madani, Mohammad Saeid Mahmoodi, Shafei Rahimi, Fatemeh Nourooziyan and Mahmood Hosseinpoor

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2011.39.44

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 1

Pages 39-44

Abstract

Problem statement: Depression is common in adolescents and especially in high school students. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of depression among high school students and its relation to parental configurations. Approach: A cross-sectional study was conducted during first term of the academic year 2003-2004. Data was collected by Beck Depression Inventory questionnaire (BDI-21 test) and researcher made questionnaire for demographic characteristics, using census procedure. Results: Results indicate that 31.3% of students (23.11% of males and 39.85% of females; p<0.0001) suffer from a degree of depression (BDI score ≥17). There was a significant relationship between depression and family structure (living with or apart of parents) (p<0.05), verbal and physical quarrels of parents (p<0.001), physical punishment of student by his/her parents (p<0.001), preventing from going outside with companions (p<0.05), history of chronic disease in the student (p<0.001), history of psychiatry disease in the family (p<0.001), school dropout (p<0.001) and sexual abuse (p<0.001). One of the most important results of this study was that 6.91% of those who have BDI score ≥17 have suicidal ideation but this figure in those who have BDI score <17 was 1.1% (p<0.001). The results show that there is no significant relationship between depression and marital status, citizenry, parents literacy level, parents job, rank, smoking, alcohol ingestion and having addicted father (p>0.05). Conclusion: The study findings highlight the need of psychiatry consulting and support services available to vulnerable students. Diagnosis of depression is still frequently missed and even when it is recognized, treatment is often inadequate. Then, we suggest education authorities about depression to improve recognition and diagnosis of at risk students. This recommendation should be applied to all teachers and physicians who study at schools and primary health care centers. Furthermore, further evaluation in longitudinal studies is needed to understand the stressors and risk factors leading to depression. This understanding should be used to design prevention programs at least in high school.

Copyright

© 2011 Ali Daryanavard, Abdoulhossain Madani, Mohammad Saeid Mahmoodi, Shafei Rahimi, Fatemeh Nourooziyan and Mahmood Hosseinpoor. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.