Prevalence of mental health problems by using strength and difficulty questionnaire in school going adolescents (11-17 years) of Jaipur city, Rajasthan

Rekha Shekhawat, Nikita Sharma, Vikram S. Sodha


Background: Adolescents constituting 21% of India’s population. Most mental disorders begin before age 14, though they are often first detected later in life. Detecting these disorders and individual prone to these disorders at earlier ages can facilitate better treatment. With this in mind the present study was planned to find out the prevalence and pattern of mental health problem and their association with socio-demographic factors (age, gender, religion and socio-economic status) in school going adolescents in Jaipur.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 994 school going adolescents (11-17 years) studying in 6th to 12th class of Jaipur city, Rajasthan. The simple random sampling and self reported version of Strength & Difficulty questionnaire (SDQ) were used to assess mental health. Chi-square was used to test significance.

Results: The 8.35% school going adolescents had abnormal SDQ score indicating probable mental disorders. The borderline and normal adolescents on total difficulty score were 14.19%, 77.46% respectively. Conduct Problem was the most prevalent (12%), followed by emotional (10%), peer (7%), hyperactivity (6%) and prosocial problem (5%). Impact of total difficulty was abnormal in 13.78% adolescents. The age and SES were found significantly associated with mental health problems (p<0.05). The mental health was not associated with gender, religion and school type.

Conclusions: The proportion of borderline and abnormal adolescents was more than one fifth on total difficulty score that need further evaluation and appropriate counselling/treatment by psychiatrist.


Prevalence, Strength and difficulty questionnaire, Mental health, Total difficulty score, Impact

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