Prevalence of stress among school-going adolescents: An exploratory study

  • Christy Vijay
  • Kavita Peter Gonsalves
  • Naveen Ramesh


Background: According to the 2011 Census of India, every fifth person is an adolescent, and most of these adolescents were residing in rural India. Among adolescents, the prevalence of any mental morbidity was 7.3%.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of stress among school-going adolescents and to assess the influence of parental factors like education, socioeconomic status, occupation, and substance use.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study done among adolescents (between 13 and 19 years) studying in two government schools, Bangalore, south India. After obtaining ethical approval and assent/consent, a structured face validated questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic details, parental factors, and stress by Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Mean, standard deviation, and appropriate test of association was applied, and a 'p' value of < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Study included 228 males (51.3%) and 217 females (48.7%). Majority (68.76%) were in the age group of 15 – 16 years, 162 (66.2%), and most 253 (56.85%) were from middle-class families. The prevalence of low stress was 135 (30.33%), moderate stress was 177 (39.78%), and severe stress was 133 (29.89%) and was slightly more among males (51.24%) when compared to females (48.76%). The prevalence of stress increased as the parent’s socioeconomic status decreased and was greater in parents with occupational skill level 1 and parents with substance use.

Conclusions: Stress level was higher among school-going adolescent males when compared to females. Stress levels were higher among adolescents whose parents belonged to low socioeconomic status and with low skill levels, and substance abuse.

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