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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 31, Issue 4


A picture of Indian adolescent mental health: an analysis from three urban secondary schools

Katelyn N.G. Long / Lisa H. Gren
  • Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Paul M. Long / Rachel Jaggi
  • Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Srabani Banik / Nicole L. Mihalopoulos
  • Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-08-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0035



Mental health disorders are a pressing issue among adolescents around the world, including in India. A better understanding of the factors related to poor mental health will allow for more effective and targeted interventions for Indian adolescents.


The Indian Adolescent Health Questionnaire (IAHQ), a validated questionnaire designed specifically for use in schools, was administered to approximately 1500 secondary students in three private urban Indian schools in 2012. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) module assessed mental health. Linear regression was used to predict SDQ scores. The biopsychosocial framework was used as an organizing framework to understand how each explanatory variable in the final model might impact the SDQ score.


One thousand four hundred and eight students returned IAHQ surveys (93.9% response rate); 1102 students completed questions for inclusion in the regression model (78.3% inclusion rate). Statistically significant (p < 0.05) independent variables associated with SDQ scores were gender, level of overall health, negative peer pressure, insults from peers, kindness of peers, feeling safe at home, at school, or with friends, and grades.


Schools have a role to play in improving adolescent mental health. Many of the significant variables in our study can be addressed in the school environment through school-wide, long-term programs utilizing teachers and lay counselors. The IAHQ and SDQ can be used by schools to identify factors that contribute to poor mental health among students and then develop targeted programs to support improved mental health.

Keywords: adolescent health; India; mental health; school-based adolescent health


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About the article

Received: 2017-02-22

Accepted: 2017-05-10

Published Online: 2017-08-01

Sources of funding: Basic project support was provided by University of Utah Study Abroad Scholarship to authors KNGL and PML.

Disclosure of potential conflicts: The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

Manuscript contributions: Authors KNGL, PML, LHG, NLM were involved in the design, execution, and oversight of the study. Authors KNGL, PML, and SB were involved in primary data collection. KNGL and LHG conducted statistical analysis. All authors contributed to the interpretation of data, authorship of the paper, and approved this version of the paper.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 31, Issue 4, 20170035, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0035.

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