Correlates of depression, anxiety and stress among Malaysian university students

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Abstract

Introduction: University students face not only challenges related with independent living, but also academic challenges. This predisposes them to depression, anxiety and stress, which are fairly common. Objective: The aim was to assess the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress, and identify their correlates among university students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 506 students between the ages of 18 and 24 years from four public universities in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Through an anonymous, self administered questionnaire, they were assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Data on socio-demographic, family characteristics and living arrangement were also obtained. Student's t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to explore association between these aspects. Results: Analysis showed among all students, 27.5% had moderate, and 9.7% had severe or extremely severe depression; 34% had moderate, and 29% had severe or extremely severe anxiety; and 18.6% had moderate and 5.1% had severe or extremely severe stress scores based on the DASS-21 inventory. Both depression and anxiety scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above) and those born in rural areas. Whereas, higher stress scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above), females, Malays and those whose family had either low or high incomes compared to those with middle incomes. Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety is much higher than either depression or stress, with some differences in their correlates except for age. These differences need to be further explored for development of better intervention programs and appropriate support services targeting this group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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Anxiety
Depression
Students
Independent Living
Malaysia
Analysis of Variance
Cross-Sectional Studies
Demography
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Malaysian
  • Stress
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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title = "Correlates of depression, anxiety and stress among Malaysian university students",
abstract = "Introduction: University students face not only challenges related with independent living, but also academic challenges. This predisposes them to depression, anxiety and stress, which are fairly common. Objective: The aim was to assess the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress, and identify their correlates among university students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 506 students between the ages of 18 and 24 years from four public universities in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Through an anonymous, self administered questionnaire, they were assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Data on socio-demographic, family characteristics and living arrangement were also obtained. Student's t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to explore association between these aspects. Results: Analysis showed among all students, 27.5{\%} had moderate, and 9.7{\%} had severe or extremely severe depression; 34{\%} had moderate, and 29{\%} had severe or extremely severe anxiety; and 18.6{\%} had moderate and 5.1{\%} had severe or extremely severe stress scores based on the DASS-21 inventory. Both depression and anxiety scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above) and those born in rural areas. Whereas, higher stress scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above), females, Malays and those whose family had either low or high incomes compared to those with middle incomes. Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety is much higher than either depression or stress, with some differences in their correlates except for age. These differences need to be further explored for development of better intervention programs and appropriate support services targeting this group.",
keywords = "Anxiety, Depression, Malaysian, Stress, University students",
author = "Khadijah Shamsuddin and Farizal Fadzil and {Wan Ismail}, {Wan Salwina} and Shah, {Shamsul Azhar} and Khairani Omar and Muhammad, {Noor Azimah} and Aida Jaffar and Aniza Ismail and Raynuha Mahadevan",
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T1 - Correlates of depression, anxiety and stress among Malaysian university students

AU - Shamsuddin, Khadijah

AU - Fadzil, Farizal

AU - Wan Ismail, Wan Salwina

AU - Shah, Shamsul Azhar

AU - Omar, Khairani

AU - Muhammad, Noor Azimah

AU - Jaffar, Aida

AU - Ismail, Aniza

AU - Mahadevan, Raynuha

PY - 2013/8

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N2 - Introduction: University students face not only challenges related with independent living, but also academic challenges. This predisposes them to depression, anxiety and stress, which are fairly common. Objective: The aim was to assess the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress, and identify their correlates among university students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 506 students between the ages of 18 and 24 years from four public universities in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Through an anonymous, self administered questionnaire, they were assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Data on socio-demographic, family characteristics and living arrangement were also obtained. Student's t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to explore association between these aspects. Results: Analysis showed among all students, 27.5% had moderate, and 9.7% had severe or extremely severe depression; 34% had moderate, and 29% had severe or extremely severe anxiety; and 18.6% had moderate and 5.1% had severe or extremely severe stress scores based on the DASS-21 inventory. Both depression and anxiety scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above) and those born in rural areas. Whereas, higher stress scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above), females, Malays and those whose family had either low or high incomes compared to those with middle incomes. Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety is much higher than either depression or stress, with some differences in their correlates except for age. These differences need to be further explored for development of better intervention programs and appropriate support services targeting this group.

AB - Introduction: University students face not only challenges related with independent living, but also academic challenges. This predisposes them to depression, anxiety and stress, which are fairly common. Objective: The aim was to assess the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress, and identify their correlates among university students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 506 students between the ages of 18 and 24 years from four public universities in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Through an anonymous, self administered questionnaire, they were assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Data on socio-demographic, family characteristics and living arrangement were also obtained. Student's t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to explore association between these aspects. Results: Analysis showed among all students, 27.5% had moderate, and 9.7% had severe or extremely severe depression; 34% had moderate, and 29% had severe or extremely severe anxiety; and 18.6% had moderate and 5.1% had severe or extremely severe stress scores based on the DASS-21 inventory. Both depression and anxiety scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above) and those born in rural areas. Whereas, higher stress scores were significantly higher among older students (20 and above), females, Malays and those whose family had either low or high incomes compared to those with middle incomes. Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety is much higher than either depression or stress, with some differences in their correlates except for age. These differences need to be further explored for development of better intervention programs and appropriate support services targeting this group.

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