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Mental health among adolescent girls – An effort to know the association of mental disorders with socio-demographic variables

Smitha Malenahalli Chandrashekarappa, Narayana Murthy Mysore Ramakrishnaiah, Dushad Ram, Renuka Manjunath.


Background: Adolescents constituting 21% of India’s population (Census, 2011) form the major chunk of adolescents in the world. Most mental disorders begin during youth (12–24 years), though they are often first detected later in life. Less described in the literature is the association between common life stressors and a wide range of psychopathology in adolescents especially among late adolescent girls and henceforth this study was conducted to know the extent and spectrum of psychiatric disorders and its association with sociodemographic variables.

Objective: (1)To determine the prevalence of mental health disorders among adolescent girls. (2) To determine the association of mental disorders with various sociodemographic variables.

Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted in pre-university and Degree Colleges belonging to JSS Mahavidyapeeta in Mysore city. Sample size was estimated to be 683. Adolescent girls between 16 and 19 years were included. The study was conducted from June 2013 to November 2013. Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Version 6.0 was used to diagnose psychiatric morbidity. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS V. 22. Proportions were calculated using Chi-square analysis and regression model was used.

Results: Among the 664 adolescent girls, the overall prevalence of mental health disorders was found to be 15.5% with major depressive disorder being the most common disorder amounting to 37% followed by dysthymia (12.3%), panic disorder and social phobia (15.7%), posttraumatic stress disorder (10%), obsessive compulsive disorder (7.8%), and generalized anxiety disorder (6.7%). Age, place of residence, birth order, education of father, education of mother, and socioeconomic status were significantly associated with mental disorders (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: High prevalence of mental disorders among adolescent girls necessitates life skill–based education (LSBE) in the regular curriculum, counseling services , mentorship program, and health education at colleges.

Key words: Adolescent girls, mental disorder, Mini Kid International Neuropsychiatric Interview Version 6.0, socio demographic variables

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