Assessment Of Mental Health Of Indian Adolescents Studying In Urban Schools

Bharath Kumar Reddy K.R, Asthik Biswas, Harini Rao


Aim: This study aims to assess a community of Indian adolescents studying in Urban schools using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for behavioral difficulties and mental health disorders. Method: All high school pupils attending three urban schools in Bangalore were eligible to participate. The self-report version of the SDQ was administered to the pupils in the classroom whose parents consented. Results: Thirty participants (8.7%) had an abnormal SDQ score and 53 (15.3%) had a borderline abnormal SDQ score. Abnormal SDQ scores were more common among females (9.7%; mean score = 11.86; sd = 5.4) than among males (7.6%; mean score = 10.96; sd = 5.26). The difference was most pronounced on the emotional symptoms subscale (females received a mean score of 4.03 [sd = 2.1] compared to a mean male score of 2.90 [sd = 2.1]). Conclusions: Mental health problems are widespread among Indian adolescents. The SDQ is a useful preliminary assessment tool of the mental health profile of Indian adolescents and highlights the need for childhood mental health promotion in schools. The SDQ could also be used in a primary care setting to screen adolescents for mental disorders.

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