Prevalence and Predictors of Mental Health Disorder Among the Adolescent Living in the Slums of Lucknow, India: A Cross-Sectional Study

  • Satish Kumar ChauhanEmail author
  • Murali Dhar
Original Paper


India is the home of more than 253 million adolescents, which account for almost 21% of the country’s population. In the recent past, there has been a rise in the prevalence of mental illness and maladaptive behaviours among adolescents living in slum populations, which are increasing at an alarming rate in many developing countries, mainly due to rural–urban migration, are characterized by poverty, poor housing, overcrowding, poor environment, and high prevalence of communicable diseases. This neglected population has become a major reservoir for a broad spectrum of adverse health conditions. Studies on the mental health status among adolescents in India are relatively scarce. The main objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of mental health disorder and its determinants among adolescents in slum settings in Lucknow, India; by using GHQ-12. The study used cross-sectional primary data which was collected in 2015–2016 from the adolescents living in various slums of Lucknow city. About 590 adolescents whose parents gave consent to participate were included in the study. Descriptive statistics, Chi square test and ordered logistic regression analysis (OLR) technique were used to assess the mental health. Reliability of GHQ-12 was assessed before performing the analysis which was found to be 0.79. Approximately, 33% of adolescents were found to suffer from severe level of mental disorder. The results of this study depicts that adolescents of age 12–15 years had more severe mental health problems compares to 16–19 years of adolescents. Females were more likely to suffer from severe mental health problems compared to moderate/normal mental health problems (OR 1.72; p < 0.001). Odds of severe mental health problems was significantly higher among Muslims (OR 1.66; p < 0.001) than Hindus. Thus, it was found that age, gender, education, caste, household economic status, media exposure and religion to be significantly associated with mental health problem. Government should provide a wide range of adolescent friendly health services (clinical, mental, nutritional, including counselling) in these slums for a better adolescent health outcome.


Adolescent Slum Lucknow city Mental health status Associated factors 



The authors are thankful to all the participants in the survey. We are also grateful to Mr. Jang Bahadur Prasad and Mr. Himanshu Chaurasia for their help in revising the manuscript.

Author Contributions

SKC developed the questionnaire, collected the data, contributed in acquisition of data, statistical analysis of data and wrote the manuscript. HC enhanced the questionnaire, contributed to the concept and design of the paper, literature searches and critically revised the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.


We have not received any funding for this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

We have received the ethical clearance from the committee. The study was approved by the Student Research Ethics Committee of International Institute for Population Sciences Mumbai, India.

Informed Consent

An informed consent was acquired from the parents for interviewing each adolescent before administration of the study questionnaire.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Population Policies and ProgrammesInternational Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia

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