Prevalence and risk factors associated with depression among higher secondary school students residing in a boarding school of North Kerala, India

Urmila K. V., Usha K., Mohammed M. T. P., Kavitha Pavithran


Background: Depression is very common among higher secondary school students. This study is to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms in higher secondary school students in a boarding school of North Kerala; to identify associated risk factors; to compare the prevalence depression between those attending and not attending additional tuition class for competitive exams.

Methods: This cross sectional observational study was conducted among 130 students residing in a boarding school of North Kerala during the period 2014-2015. CES-DC scale was used to measure the prevalence of depression. All of them were reassessed after 1year of entering the school with the same scale.

Results: The prevalence of clinically significant depression was seen in 57.7% and the prevalence was more in those attending the tuition class (p=0.0068). Depression was more in girls and still higher in girls who attended the tuition classes (p=0.035). There was significant correlation between the prevalence of depression and stream of subjects selected (p =0.001), previous academic achievement (p= 0.01). The scores of depressions didn’t show any statistically significant difference after one year of stay in boarding school.

Conclusions: Severity of depression correlates with academic stress especially in boarding schools. Stress of competitive exams definitely more in higher secondary students and is one of the important cause for depression in them. Adolescents are not acquiring enough coping skills to overcome depression. Enhancing the coping strategies and the rescheduling of the educational system are the most important factors for prevention of these symptoms.


Adolescent, Coping skills, Depression, Students

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