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Depression, anxiety and stress among saudi secondary school students in Jizan city, kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Author: 
Mohammad Hakamy, Ibrahim Bahri and Eisa Ghazwani
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: The appropriate identification and treatment of mental disorders in adolescence provide teenagers with immediate positive benefits, and serve to counteract consequences such as poor academic performance, substance abuse and suicidal behavior. Objective: To screen for symptoms of negative emotional states among Saudi secondary school students in Jizan City. Subjects and Methods: Four secondary schools (two for boys and two for girls) were randomly selected. A total of 772 students were included (350 boys and 402 for girls). A personal characteristics questionnaire and the Arabic version of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale were used for data collection. Results: Half of students had symptoms of depression 59.7% had symptoms of anxiety, while 39% had symptoms of stress (39%). Mean scores for depression, anxiety and stress were higher among older than younger students. Female students had significantly higher mean scores for depression, anxiety and stress (p=0.002, p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). Mean scores for depression, anxiety and stress were higher among smokers than nonsmokers. Students with a present history of chronic diseases had significantly higher scores for negative emotional status (p<0.001, for all). Mothers’ higher educational status was significantly associated with higher scores of anxiety (p=0.034). Students whose mothers were employed had significantly higher scores for anxiety and stress (p=0.001 and p=0.004, respectively). Students with a positive family history of psychiatric problems had significantly higher mean scores for negative emotional states. There were significantly positive correlation among the studied three negative emotional states (p<0.001 for all). Conclusions: Prevalence rates for negative emotional states are high among secondary schools students in Jizan City; Anxiety is the most prevalent negative emotional state among secondary school students followed by depression and then stress; Prevalence rates of negative emotional syndromes are significantly higher among older students, female students, students with chronic diseases and students with positive family history of psychiatric diseases. Mothers’ personal characteristics have significant impact on their son’s and daughter’s emotional status. School health care providers should be trained to screen students for negative emotions.

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