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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1731
Santinello M., Vieno A.
Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova
Aim. The aims of the study are to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and risk behaviours associated with subsyndromal depression among an Italian representative sample of early adolescents.
Methods. The survey is part of the larger Health Behaviour in School Aged Children (HBSC) transnational study, which is coordinated by the European Office of the World Health Organization. The data were gathered through self-administered questionnaires filled out by a representative sample of 4,386 (48.4% males) Italian students (11-, 13- and 15-year old). The main areas covered in the questionnaire were health and health behaviour.
Results. As a whole, 9.3% of youths reported symptoms of subsyndromal depression. A higher proportion of females (11.5%) reported depressive symptoms than boys (10%). The phenomenon is equally distributed in the different Italians region and across 3 age groups. Youths who were frequently involved in bullying, either as perpetrators or as victims, that smoke and drink alcohol were more than twice as likely to report subsyndromal symptoms of depression as compared with other youths. Similarly, youths who reported experiencing somatic symptoms also shoed significantly higher proportions of symptoms of subsyndromal depression than other youths.
Conclusion. To understand the differences in prevalence of subsyndromal depression in Italy, together with associated risk behaviours and factors, may be important for the recognition and treatment of depression among youths.