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Depression amongst Nigerian university students

Prevalence and sociodemographic correlates

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and examine the socio-demographic correlates of depressive disorder among university students in Western Nigeria.

Methods

A representative sample of students living in the halls of residence of a federal university (n = 1,206) completed sets of questionnaires on socio-demographic details, problems encountered in the university, alcohol use and smoking. Depressive disorder was assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).

Results

A total of 101 (8.3%) students met the criteria for depressive disorder with 68 (5.6%) having minor depressive disorder and 33 (2.7%) having major depressive disorder. The factors that were significantly associated with depressive disorders in the students include problems with accommodation (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.79–4.16), very large family size (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.42–5.73), female gender (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.46–3.35), heavy cigarette smoking (OR 3.67, 95% CI 2.23–6.05) and high level of alcohol consumption (OR 9.44, 95% CI 3.32–26.89).

Conclusions

Depression is common among Nigerian university students and significantly associated with sociodemographic factors. An effective model for the prediction of the development of depression in university students need to be developed and evaluated and interventions aimed at reducing the incidence of depression among this population need further research.

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Correspondence to Abiodun O. Adewuya MBChB.

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Adewuya, A.O., Ola, B.A., Aloba, O.O. et al. Depression amongst Nigerian university students. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol 41, 674–678 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-006-0068-9

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Key words

  • depression
  • college students
  • risk factors
  • prevalence