ASSESSMENT OF DEPRESSION AMONG STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN SOUTHWEST AND SOUTH- SOUTH GEO-POLITICAL ZONES OF NIGERIA
The study sought to determine the prevalence, symptoms and management of depression among students in tertiary institutions in South-West and South-South Geo-political zones of Nigeria. The study is a descriptive cross-sectional one. The stratified random sampling method was used to select the respondents from the population of the study. A Depression Assessment Scale Questionnaire (DASQ) was administered to the students. The data were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages and t-tests of independent samples. The study found that students in the tertiary institutions studied showed signs of depression as 46% were mildly depressed, 52% were moderately depressed, and 2% of the respondents had severe depression. Further analysis of levels of depression among the students according to their age indicated that students who were below 17 years had the lowest level of depression (6%), while students who were 20 years old recorded the highest level of depression (23%). Other age differences were at 18 years 21%, 19 years 17% and 17 years 12%. The study also found a statistically significant difference in the degrees of depression between males (27%) and females (73%). The commonest symptoms of depression among students are withdrawal, low self-esteem, lack of enthusiasm and panic attacks. The study concluded that students in tertiary institutions in the socio-political zones are depressed. It was therefore recommended among others that both individual and group counselling should be made a priority in our institutions of higher learning.
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