Thursday, January 17, 2019

Study finds one in four schoolchildren in depression

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2017-12-11 18:06:26 BdST

One in four schoolchildren in Dhaka city has depressive syndromes in some form or another, according to a study.

The study by researchers at Australia’s University of Queensland and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh or ICDDR,B surveyed 898 students, aged between 13 and 16, of eight schools in the capital.

Girls have double the odds of depressive symptoms than boys, according to the study that also collected data from their parents.

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Among the responding adolescents, 25 percent reported depressive symptoms with prevalence more common among females than males—30 percent vs 19 percent.

The study cited a separate study conducted in 2012, which surveyed almost 2,500 students aged between 13 and 19, where it was found 14 percent had syndromes of depression.

The latest study found self-perception of non-normal weight, feeling unsafe at school, sleep disturbance, low life satisfaction, high intake of sugary drinks and regularly skipping breakfast as key factors associated with the syndromes.

Seventeen percent of the respondents aged 13 years showed depression syndromes while it is 19 percent among those 16 years old.

“This is a little scary given the inadequate attention of mental health, especially in this particular age group, in our health care system,” lead author Asaduzzaman Khan of the University of Queensland told

The study says interventions for adolescents with depressive symptoms could focus on lifestyle practices such as weight management, personal safety, sleep hygiene and healthy eating.

“Depression in young people can increase the risk of unhealthy lifestyle behaviour and can lead to substantial disability, social problems, poor health and suicide,” the researchers wrote.

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