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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 394-402

Subclinical depression in Urban Indian adolescents: Prevalence, felt needs, and correlates

1 Research Fellow, Parenting and Family Support Centre, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia QLD 4072, Australia
2 Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Meghna Singhal
School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia QLD 4072
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.196727

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Background: Subclinical depression in adolescents constitutes a risk factor for future clinical depression and hence warrants examination. However, there is a paucity of research that documents subclinical depression among adolescents in India. Objectives: (a) To investigate the prevalence of subclinical depression in urban school-going adolescents; (b) to investigate the problems and felt needs of these adolescents; (c) to examine depression-related variables; and (d) to examine the relationships between socio-demographic and depression-related variables. Materials and Methods: Eight hundred adolescents (ages 13–18 years) of English-medium schools of Bangalore city were assessed using standardized self-report measures. Results: Academic difficulties were the most frequently reported problem, followed by interpersonal issues. Of the sample, 18% adolescents were identified as endorsing subclinical depression. Adolescents in the present study scored higher on measures of depression and negative cognitions than their Western counterparts. In addition, girls were found to be at higher risk for experiencing depressive symptoms and negative cognitions, lower social problem-solving skills, and more problematic interpersonal relationships as compared to boys. Conclusion: Identification of subclinical depression constitutes an important goal, as it places an adolescent at risk of considerable vulnerability and impairment.



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