A Community-Based Study on Prevalence of Depression among Adolescents in Rural Puducherry

Perumal Murthy, Kariyarath Cheriyath Premarajan, Shivanand Kattimani


Introduction: Adolescence is the period characterized not only by physical and sexual maturation but also by developmental changes towards attaining social and economic independence. A large number of adolescents who are unable to cope with stress caused by these changes develop mental health problems, especially depression. Adolescent depression has serious impact on their socialization, family relations and performance at school and is also a risk factor for committing suicide.

Objectives: (1) To determine the prevalence of depression among adolescents in a rural population.

(2) To identify the socio-demographic, behavioral and health-related factors associated with depression.

Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out among the adolescents (10-19 years) residing in the Pillayarkuppam village in the Villiannur Commune of Puducherry.The calculated sample size was 300 and so all the 302 adolescents residing in the study village were studied using standardized Beck Depression Inventory Scale Questionnaire. The overall prevalence of depression among adolescents was 32% of which 29% had mild to moderate depression and 2.6% had severe depression.

Results: The prevalence of depression was more among late adolescents (43.5%) than in early adolescents (21%). Depression was found to be higher among children whose parents were autocratic and those who were not going to school. Gender and family type did not show any significant difference. Another significant finding was that 42% of adolescents who were depressed showed suicidal ideation which was a matter of grave concern. Parents, teachers and adolescents need to be educated on the mental health issues concerning adolescent age groups and involved in their management and prevention.

Conclusion: Depression being an important mental health problem among the adolescents, early identification and management is the most effective strategy for prevention of alcohol and drug addiction and suicides among them.


Prevalence, Adolescent depression, Rural community, Demographic factors.

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