Prevalence and comorbidity of psychiatric symptomology in Pakistani female adolescents
Keywords:Learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, female adolescents
Background: Previous researchers have demonstrated the co-existence of psychiatric conditions across clinical as well as non-clinical samples in diverse situations. The present study examined the prevalence and co-morbidity of various psychiatric symptoms (e.g. learning disabilities, depression and anxiety) in school-age female adolescents. Methods: In a cross-sectional random sampling method, 252 girls from two government schools in Lahore were assessed by Learning Disabilities Checklist, Children Depression Inventory and the Spence Anxiety Scale. Results: The results demonstrate significant prevalence and co-morbidity of psychiatric symptoms. Of the 252 participants, 34%, 21% and 68% had significant learning disabilities, depression and anxiety symptoms respectively. In addition, 27% of them presented symptoms of three studied psychiatric conditions. A highly significant positive correlation was found between learning disabilities, depression and anxiety symptoms. Methods: There is a dire need for preventative intervention programs to promote mental health at school level. Further, assessment plans for the screening of psychiatric symptoms in normative samples also need to be put in place.
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