A comparative study of prevalence of mental abnormalities among high school children in tribal, rural and urban Mysuru district, Karnataka, India

Pradeep Tarikere Satyanarayana, Prakash B., Praveen Kulkarni, Kishor M., Renuka M.


Background: Adolescence is defined by WHO as period in human growth and development that occurs after childhood and before adulthood from ages 10 to 19 years. According to WHO, half of all mental health disorders in adulthood start by age 14 years, but most cases are undetected and untreated.

Methods: The present study was community based cross sectional comparative study was conducted on study participants were high school children aged 14 years to 16 years in tribal, rural and urban areas of Mysuru from November 2014 to May 2016, i.e., one and a half years (eighteen months). Around 9 tribal high schools, 8 rural high schools and 13 urban high schools were selected and sampling was done according to probability proportionate to size. Institutional Ethics Committee clearance was obtained before start of the study. The study methodology was discussed with and permission obtained from all Principals and Headmasters of respective High Schools. Written informed assent was obtained from each study participant. Data thus Obtained were coded and entered into Microsoft excel Work sheet .This was analyzed using SPSS 22 version. Descriptive statistics like percentage, mean and standard deviation were applied. Inferential statistical tests like chi square test were applied to find out association. The difference, association were expressed statistically significant at p-value less than 0.05.

Results: Among the study participants, in tribal area, 88 (47.3%) belonged to age group of 15 years, in rural area, 103 (51.5%) belonged to age group of 15 years and in urban area 116 (59.8%) belonged to age group of 14 years. Anxiety disorders were seen more in urban participants 26.3% and least in rural, major depressive disorders were seen more in urban participants (4.1%) and suicidality was seen more in rural participants (6.5%).

Conclusions: Anxiety disorders were seen more in urban participants 26.3%, Major depressive disorders were seen more in urban participants (4.1%) and suicidality was seen more in rural participants (6.5%). The present study stresses importance of School-based specific diagnostic screenings such as for anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD should be implemented.


Adolescence, Anxiety disorders, Depressive disorders, Suicidality

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