Original Paper

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 2011-2018

First online:

The prevalence and correlates of neurotic disorders among undergraduates at a mainland Chinese university

  • Changgui KouAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin UniversityDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Xiangfei MengAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Bing XieAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin University
  • , Yanfen ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin University
  • , Qiong YuAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin University
  • , Jieping ShiAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin University
  • , Yaqin YuAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin University Email author 
  • , Carl D’ArcyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Yueqin HuangAffiliated withInstitute of Mental Health, Peking University

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Abstract

Objectives

To study the prevalence and risk factors of neurotic disorders (NDs) among Chinese university students.

Methods

Stratified random sampling was used to select students who were interviewed using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 to diagnose psychiatric disorder and collected socio-demographic, and family structure and environment data. The response rate was 90 % (N = 1,843). The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) criteria were used to diagnose NDs. We used logistical regression to evaluate the links between NDs and selected correlates.

Results

The prevalence of NDs was 25.6 % (lifetime), 15.7 % (12-month), and 6.8 % (30-day) among the university students with no significant gender differences in these rates. No family structure characteristics were related to 12-month prevalence of NDs (P > 0.05). In contrast, family environment factors including a history of family disputes (OR 1.562, CI 1.108–2.203), parental mental health problems (OR 1.800, CI 1.379–2.349), and absence of care in childhood (OR 1.916, 95 % CI 1.331–2.759) were associated with higher prevalence rates of NDs.

Conclusions

Our findings show a high prevalence of NDs in this sample of Chinese undergraduates. Social environment factors, in the student’s family of orientation, were significantly associated with the prevalence of NDs. These findings support the importance of negative family experiences during childhood and adolescence and increasing vulnerability to NDs.

Keywords

Neurotic disorders Anxiety disorders Prevalence CIDI