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Factors Associated with Depression in Students at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

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Objective: This project examines the factors associated with depression in students attending the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

Method: Students enrolled in the Foundation courses during the first and second semesters of the 2005/2006 academic year were administered the Brief Screen for Depression as well as a demographic questionnaire as part of a larger study.

Results: A wide cross-section of the university population was sampled (n = 690; 252 from semester one, 438 from semester two; 77% females, 23% males; age 16 – 62 years, median = 20 years, mean = 23.4 years ± 7.4 ). Nearly 40% of students scored in the clinically depressed range. Students in the December wave of data collection had higher depression scores than those in the January wave. Consistent with international research, females reported significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms. Married students reported significantly lower depression scores than students in visiting relationships. Students who were combining employment and school reported lower depression scores than those who were not employed. Maternal education significantly influenced students’ levels of depression such that students whose mothers had university or other tertiary education had lower depression scores while those whose mothers had primary or lower education had the highest depression scores. Students with a chronic condition or a disability scored higher than those without such problems on all three measures of depression.

Conclusion: Depression may be a significant problem in students at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

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e-Published: 17 Sep, 2013
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