Social and Economic Factors Associated With Subthreshold and Major Depressive Episode in University Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Langer, A.I.; Crockett M.A.; Bravo-Contreras, M.; Carrillo-Naipayan, C.; Chaura-Marió, M.; Gómez-Curumilla, B.; Henríquez-Pacheco, Claudia; Vergara, Rodrigo C.

Keywords: depression, subthreshold depression, socioeconomic, college students, social support


Depression is one of the most frequent mental health disorders in college students and variations according to social and economic factors have been reported, however, whether social and economic variations also exist in subthreshold depression is still unknown, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of subthreshold depressive episode (SDE) and major depressive episode (MDE) and to examine the association between social and economic factors with SDE and MDE in undergraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants were 1,577 college students from a university in the south of Chile (64.6% females, 22 years old on average). The participants took an online survey in November 2020 which collected information about social and economic variables, depressive symptoms, and perceived social support. Bivariate and multinomial logistic regression analysis were used. The results showed a high prevalence of SDE (14.3%) and MDE (32.3%) in the sample. Belonging to a social group and perceiving positive social support were the only variables examined that were associated with SDE. Instead, female sex, poorer quintiles, living with other relatives but not parents, economic difficulties due to the pandemic, being a parent, and perceiving positive social support were associated with MDE. Subthreshold and threshold depressive symptoms are frequent in college students, and associations with social and economic factors differ according to the level of such symptoms. These results should be considered in the development of tailored preventive and early interventions for depression in college students.

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Título de la Revista: Frontiers in public health
Editorial: Frontiers Research Foundation
Fecha de publicación: 2022
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 8
Idioma: Inglés