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Minerva Psichiatrica 2020 September;61(3):84-92

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.20.02089-0


language: English

Factors affecting depressive symptoms among university students in Bangladesh

Ashis TALUKDER 1 , Muhammad M. HASAN 2, Sheikh M. SHARIFUL ISLAM 3

1 Department of Statistics, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh; 2 Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, Durham, UK; 3 Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

BACKGROUND: Depressive symptoms are common among university students, but there are few studies in developing countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify the potential correlates of depressive symptoms among university students in Bangladesh.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 346 students at Khulna University, Bangladesh. Depressive symptoms were examined by utilizing the CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression) scale. We defined depressive symptoms into three categories: CES-D scores <16 = not depressed, 16-23 = moderately depressed, and ≥23 = severely depressed. We applied the ordinal regression model namely proportional odds model to identify factors associated with depressive symptoms.
RESULTS: The proportion of students with moderate depressive symptoms and severe depressive symptoms were 54.6% and 18.2%, respectively. Being male, poor economic status of family, being 1st year student, poor relationship with family members, being a smoker, self-perception on poor academic performance and poor health status were identified as potential risk factors for developing depressive symptoms among university students. Among these risk factors, poor economic status of family, poor relationship with family members, self-perception on poor academic performance and poor health status were found significant for both male and female students. However, academic year and smoking status had significant impacts on male students only.
CONCLUSIONS: Almost seven out of 10 ten students in this study reported depressive symptoms. The findings of this study can inform strategies to minimize depressive symptoms as well as facilitating ideas for longitudinal study to examine the causality and relationships between depressive symptoms and a wide range of variables.

KEY WORDS: Depression; Depressive disorder; Risk factors; Universities; Bangladesh

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