The Prevalance Of Depressive Symptoms And Suicidality And Their Role On Scholastic Achievement Among Students In Nairobi Public Day High Schools
Mwikamba, A M
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Contemporary studies on the relationship between depression and school performance reports mixed findings. Unfortunately, Studies on this subject in Kenya are not available. Around the time of the study, several cases of suicides among students were reported in the Kenyan media which was attributed to poor performance in schools. A review of studies done in Kenya on depression and suicidality shows that prevalence rates of depression symptoms varies widely depending on sex and age and type of instrument used. AIM: To establish the prevalence rates of depressive symptoms, suicidality and their association to student's scholastic achievement in Nairobi public day high schools. METHODS: This cross sectional study was conducted in Nairobi public day high schools (n=356) by using a Becks depression inventory, Becks suicidality scale, Becks hopelessness scale which were self-administered. RESULTS:36% of students had mild to severe depressive symptoms.20.2% (68) had suicidal ideation, 14.1% had suicidal plans and 4.8% had attempted suicide.18.6% had mild to severe hopelessness. Female gender p=O.049, not being close to father p=O.OOOI, difficulties in doing homework p=O.023, getting into trouble with teachers p=O.005 and low self-esteem p=O.OOOlwere statistically significantly associated to depressive symptoms. No correlations was found between depressive symptoms and students mean grade both for term one p=O.235and term two p=O.524. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study found no relationship between depressive symptoms and objective measures of scholastic achievements.