Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among children with specific learning disorder attending a tertiary care centre
Background: Children with Specific learning disorders are highly likely to manifest concurrent social, emotional and mental health problems.
Objectives: To assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms among children with Specific learning disorders.
Methods: The study was conducted in the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Kozhikode. The cross-sectional study design was used for the study. The sample consisted of 100 children with Specific learning disorders between the age group of 8 -15 years and was selected by purposive sampling. We used a semi-structured interview schedule for collecting socio personal variables and clinical variables. The short version of standardised Mood and feelings questionnaire both child self-report and parent report on child to assess depressive symptoms. Prevalence of depressive symptoms was expressed in percentages and association of this with other variables was analysed using the chi-square test.
Results: 23% of children with Specific learning disorders had depressive symptoms as per the child self-report and as per parent report 14 % of children with Specific learning disorders had depressive symptoms. About 9% of the parents were not recognising their children’s depressive symptoms; there is a significant association between impairment in writing an expression and depressive symptoms (chi-square value =18, P value< 0.001)
Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of depressive symptoms in various subtypes of Specific learning disorders. Depressive symptoms are often undetected and there is a need for early identification.
Keywords: Depressive symptoms; Specific learning disorders, prevalence
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