European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 287–292 | Cite as

Prevalence of major depressive disorders and a validation of the beck depression inventory among nigerian adolescents

  • Abiodun O. Adewuya
  • Bola A. Ola
  • Olutayo O. Aloba



The aims of this study are to estimate the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in a representative sample of Nigerian adolescents, and to assess the validity of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) in screening for depressive symptoms among adolescent population in Nigeria.


A total of 1095 adolescents aged 13–18 years attending senior secondary schools completed the BDI. The presence of MDD in the adolescents was assessed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Aged Children–Epidemiological Version 5 (K-SADS-E).


The prevalence of MDD was 6.9%. (male = 5.5%, female = 8.9%). The difference between the rates for MDD in males and females was statistically significant (P = 0.028), but no age or age-gender-interaction difference was found. The BDI has good psychometric properties in screening for depression in adolescents. At a cut off score of 18 and above, the BID has a sensitivity of 0.91, specificity of 0.97, positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.88 and negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.98.


The prevalence of MDD in Nigerian adolescents is comparable to those found in western culture and the BDI is a valid instrument for screening for MDD among Nigerian adolescents. Health policies in developing countries must integrate adolescents’ depression as a disorder of public health significance.


major depressive disorder adolescents beck depression inventory validation cross-cultural 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abiodun O. Adewuya
    • 1
  • Bola A. Ola
    • 2
  • Olutayo O. Aloba
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Mental HealthObafemi Awolowo University Teaching, Hospitals Complex, Wesley Guild HospitalIlesaNigeria
  2. 2.Dept. of Mental HealthObafemi Awolowo University, Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ife State HospitalILE - IFENigeria

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