Background: Depression among adolescents is an uncommon and frequently unrecognized issue in pediatrics. children and adolescents however suffer from both depression and associated symptoms.
Methods: The study was carried out among adolescents in secondary schools from two states; Enugu and Ebonyi metropolises within the age range of 9-18 in Enugu metropolis. The instrument employed for data collection was a structured self-administered questionnaire developed from the Goldberg Depression Questionnaire, a Screening Test for Depression. It is particularly suited for students in this age group. The families were assigned socio-economic classes using the recommended method (modified) by Oyedeji.
Objectives: The aims and objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of several levels of depression among adolescents attending secondary schools in two states.
Results: A total of 453 adolescents who are attending secondary schools from two states were recruited in this study. Depression is non-existent before the age of 10 years according to this study. The prevalence of moderate depression was lowest (2.3%) at the age of 10 and highest at (6.2%) the age of 13. The prevalence of severe depression was lowest (1.9%) at the age of 11 and highest (7.4%) at the age of 12. Female gender is a risk factor for depression. Children whose parents are separated showed higher incidences of depression in all the spectra studied.
Conclusion: Adolescents exhibit different levels of depression with a female preponderance.Cultural Influence
Depression is defined as a state of low mood and aversion to activity.It is noted that several controversies characterize the literature on depression in adolescents. For instance, some studies noted that children and young adolescents did not have the psychological structure (e.g., superego functions) to truly experience depression. Indeed, the classic characterization of adolescence as a time of “storm and stress” led many researchers to view depression during adolescence as a normal developmental stage. In fact, most adolescents progress through life without undue emotional turbulence.
In contrast, it is known and documented that children and adolescents do indeed suffer from both depressive symptoms and depressive disorders. In fact, adolescence is a critical period for the development of depressive disorders.Cultural Influence
As unrecognized as depression is among the adult population, it is even more so among children and adolescents. Studies have estimated that depression affects up to 8.3% of older adolescents in the United States.In addition, it is noted that on any single day about 2% of school-aged children and about 8% of adolescents meet the criteria for major depression. In the long run, the numbers are even higher, for example, one in five adolescents have experienced depression at some point. In primary care settings, the rates of depression are as high as 28% for adolescents.Cultural Influence.
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