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Salud mental

Print version ISSN 0185-3325


DE LA PENA OLVERA, Francisco R.; GOMEZ CASTRO, Cecilia; HEINZE MARTIN, Gerhard  and  PALACIOS-CRUZ, Lino. Social adversity and psychiatric disorders: a comparative study between students in public and private secondary schools. Salud Ment [online]. 2014, vol.37, n.6, pp.483-489. ISSN 0185-3325.

Psychiatric disorders in adolescence are linked to social adversity, family dysfunction and abuse. In Mexico City, up to 68% of the adolescents have experienced at least one chronic adversity. Mental health problems, such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are frequent and cause academic problems. The social and economic differences between students in public and private secondary is well known. However, it has not been established what the differences between social adversity and psychiatric disorders are among these populations. The aim of this investigation was to determine and compare, in a clinical two-step procedure, these features in secondary students from southern Mexico City. Method Agreement for convenience with seven secondary schools from southern Mexico City, four public and three private, was carried out. Prior parental consent and adolescent assent, a clinical screening that evaluated internalized and externalized symptoms was applied to 1 474 students. Positive screening for probable psychopathology was found in 419 students. Of these, 319 accepted a clinical interview and 177 were interviewed. Results Of the 117 adolescents interviewed, 83.8% were cases. There were more public school students than private school students: 64 (91%) vs. 34 (71%) (χ2=7.85, P=0.005), respectively. The average age was 13.39 years (SD=0.98). Family dysfunction was found in 57 (48.71 %) of the 117 adolescents. The overall performance was assessed by the GAF; the mean score of all students was 65.48 (SD=11.68). Major depressive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were the most frequent diagnoses, with 48.7% and 59.8%, respectively. The psychological and physical abuse, family dysfunction and major depressive disorder occurred significantly in more students from public schools. Conclusions Social adversity and depression were present and more associated in students from public than private secondary schools. This represents a challenge for educational and mental health services for the early recognition and prompt attention as there is a link between social welfare and mental health.

Keywords : Psychiatric disorders; social adversity; secondary schools.

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