The Prevalence of Mental Health Problems and the Associated Familial Factors in Adolescents in the South of Iran

Authors

1 Research Centre for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Epidemiology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Department of Social Medicine, Jahrom University of Medical Sciences, Jahrom, Iran AND Department of Epidemiology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Student Research Committee, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.

4 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Health Education and Health Promotion Department, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

Abstract

Background
Mental health problems are common among adolescents. Proper screening and rehabilitation could improve adolescents’ function at the present time and in the future. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and the associated familial factors among high school students.
Materials and Methods
The present cross-sectional study was conducted on 630 high school students (315 boys and 315 girls) aged 13-17 years in Jahrom, Iran. The participants were selected using random cluster sampling. The data were collected using the self-report version of strength and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ), and were analyzed using the SPSS statistical software, version 16.0.
Results: The results showed that 22.38% of the students had total difficulty (14.9% of boys, and 29.8% of girls). The highest prevalence was related to peer relationship problems (23%) followed by conduct problems (18.1%), hyperactivity (11.1%), pro-social behaviors (6.3%), and emotional problems (5.7%). The results of multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that female gender (odds ratio [OR]: 2.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.68-3.66) increased the odds; while grade 9 (OR=0.52, 95% CI: 0.32-0.83), and number of siblings (OR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.78-0.99) decreased the odds of mental health problems (p<0.05).  
Conclusion
According to the results, the prevalence of behavioral disorders was relatively high among the students. The number of sibling, being girl and being in nine grade significantly contributed to the prevalence of behavioral disorders. In order to reduce these disorders, familial intervention and educational programs are recommended to be designed and implemented to prevent and treat behavioral disorders among students.

Keywords