Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 43, Issue 8, pp 667–672 | Cite as

The prevalence and socio-demographic correlations of depression, anxiety and stress among a group of university students

ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Background

The mental health of university students is an area of increasing concern worldwide. The objective of this study is to examine the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress among a group of Turkish university students.

Methods

Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-42) completed anonymously in the students’ respective classrooms by 1,617 students.

Results

Depression, anxiety and stress levels of moderate severity or above were found in 27.1, 47.1 and 27% of our respondents, respectively. Anxiety and stress scores were higher among female students. First- and second-year students had higher depression, anxiety and stress scores than the others. Students who were satisfied with their education had lower depression, anxiety and stress scores than those who were not satisfied.

Conclusions

The high prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms among university students is alarming. This shows the need for primary and secondary prevention measures, with the development of adequate and appropriate support services for this group.

Key words

DASS-42 depression anxiety stress university students Turkey 

References

  1. 1.
    Adewuya AO, Ola BA, Olutayo OA, Mapayi BM, Oginni OO (2006) Depression amongst Nigerian university students. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates. Sos Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 41:674–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aktekin M, Karaman T, Senol YY, Erdem S, Erengin H, Akaydin M (2001) Anxiety, depression and stressful life events among medical students: a prospective study in Antalya, Turkey. Med Edu 35:12–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Antony MM, Bieling PJ, Cox BJ, Enns MW, Swinson RP (1998) Psychometric properties of the 42 item and 21 item versions of the depression anxiety stress scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychol Assess 10:176–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Arnett JJ (2000) Emerging adulthood: a theory of development from the late teen through the twenties. Am Psychol 55(5):469–480PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baron RM, Kenny DA (1986) The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research. Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. J Pers Soc Psychol 51(6):1173–1182PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brown TA, Chorpita BF, Korotitsch W, Barlow DH (1997) Psychometric properties of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) in clinical samples. Behav Res Ther 35:79–89PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bostanci M, Ozdel O, Oguzhanoglu NK, Ozdel L, Ergin A, Ergin N, Atesci F, Karadag F (2005) Depressive symptomatology among university students in Denizli, Turkey: prevalence and socio-demographic correlates. Croat Med J 46(1): 96–100PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Crawford JR, Henry JD (2003) The depression anxiety stress scales (DASS): normative data and latent structure in a large non clinical sample. Br J Clin Psycho 42:111–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dahlin M, Joneborg N, Runeson B (2005) Stress and depression among medical students: a cross-sectional study. Med Edu 39:594–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS). Available from URL: http://www2.psy.unsw.edu.au/groups/dass//. Retrieved on 12 April 2007
  11. 11.
    Dyrbye NL, Thomas MR, Shanafelt TD (2006) Systematic review of depression, anxiety and other indicators of psychological distress among US and Canadian Medical students. Acad Med 81(4):354–373PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dyson R, Renk K (2006) Freshmen adaptation to university life: depressive symptoms, stress and coping. J Clin Psychol 62(10):1231–1244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gjerde PF (1993) Depressive symptoms in young adults: A developmental perspective on gender differences. In: Funder DC, Parke DR, Tomilinson- Keasey CA, Widaman K (eds) Studying lives through time. American Psychological Association, Washington DC, pp 255–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grant K, Marsh P, Syniar G (2002) Gender differences in rates of depression among undergraduates: measurement matters. J Adolesc 25:613–617PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hafen M Jr, Reisbig AM, White MB, Rush BR (2006) Predictors of depression and anxiety in first year veterinary students: a preliminary report. J Vet Med Educ 33(3):432–440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Helmers KF, Danoff D, Steinert Y, Leyton M, Young SN (1997) Stress and depressed mood in medical students, law students and graduate students at McGill University. Acad Med 72(8):708–714PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lovibond SH, Lovibond PF (1995a) Manual for the depression anxiety stress scales. Psychology Foundation, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lovibond SH, Lovibond PF (1995b) The structure of negative emotional states: comparison of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) with the beck depression and anxiety inventories. Behav Res Ther 33:335–343PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nerdrum P, Rustøen T, Rønnestad MH (2006) Student psychological distress: a psychometric study of 1750 Norwegian 1st-year undergraduate students. Scand J Edu Res 50(1):95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ovuga E, Boardman J, Wasserman D (2006) Undergraduate student mental health at Makerere University, Uganda. World Psychiatry 5(1):51–52PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Özdemir H, Rezaki M (2007) General health questionnaire-12 for the detection of depression. Turk Psikiyatr Derg 18(1):1–8Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Poch FV, Villar E, Caparros B, Juan J, Cornella M, Perez I (2004) Feelings of hopelessness in a Spanish university population. Descriptive analysis and its relationship to adapting to university, depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 39:326–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Preacher KJ, Leonardelli GJ (2003) Calculation for the Sobel test. Available from URL: http://www.psych.ku.edu/preacher/sobel/sobel.htm. Retrieved on 29 February 2007
  24. 24.
    Preacher KJ, Hayes AF (2004) SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behav Res Meth Ins C 36(4):717–731Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Reinherz HZ, Giaconia RM, Hauf AM, Wasserman MS, Silverman AB (1999) Major depression in the transition to adulthood: risks and impairments. J Abnorm Psychol 108:500–510PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Royal College of Psychiatrists (2003) The mental health of students in higher education. Council Report CR112, London. Retrieved on August 13, 2007 from: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/files/pdfversion/cr112.pdf
  27. 27.
    Stanley N, Manthorpe J (2001) Responding to students’ mental health needs: impermeable systems and diverse users. J Ment Health 10(1):41–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Stewart-Brown S, Evans J, Patterson J, Petersen S, Doll H, Balding J, Regis D (2000) The health of students in institutes of higher education: an important and neglected public health problem? J Public Health Med 22(4):492–499PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Taouk M, Lovibond PF, Laube R (2001) Report for New South Wales transcultural mental health centre. Psychometric properties of Chienese version of the short Depression Anxiety Stres Scales (DASS-21) New South Wales Transcultural Mental Health Centre. Cumberland Hospital, Sydney. Retrieved on 19 January 2007 from http://www2.psy.unsw.edu.au/groups/dass//Chinese/tmhc.htm
  30. 30.
    Tomoda A, Mori K, Kimura M, Takahashi T, Kitamura T (2000) One year prevalence and incidence of depression among first-year university students in Japan: a preliminary study. Psychiat Clin Neuros 54:583–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Uncu Y, Bayram N, Bilgel N (2007) Job related affective well-being among primary health care physicians. Eur J Public Health 17(5):514–519PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Voelker R (2003) Mounting student depression taxing campus mental health services. JAMA 289:2055–2056PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wong JGWS, Cheung EPT, Chan KKC, Ma KKM, Tang SW (2006) Web-based survey of depression, anxiety and stress in first-year tertiary education students in Hong Kong. Aus N Z J Psychiat 40(9):777–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Dept. of EconometricsUludag UniversityBursaTurkey
  2. 2.Dept. of Family Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUludag UniversityBursaTurkey

Personalised recommendations