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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 333-341

Epidemiological Determinants of Depression and Its Associated Coping Mechanisms among College Students Confined during COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional e-Survey in North India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women, Sonipat, Haryana, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women, Sonipat, Haryana, India
3 Department of Literature, Kirori Mal College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunny Garg
Department of Psychiatry, Bhagat Phool Singh Medical College for Women, Khanpur Kalan, Sonipat, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_2_21

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Background: Subject of interest is the status of mental health of college students around the globe as they are undergoing a lot of mental stress and depression during the pandemic lockdown. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this survey is to evaluate the prevalence of depression, its determinants, and association with coping mechanisms among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Methodology: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based e-survey among college students in North India using Snowball sampling technique was done. A total of 920 responses (calculated sample size) were collected for a period of 25 days from 6th to 30th October 2020. A questionnaire regarding sociodemographic characteristics, COVID-19-related experiences along with Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Carver Brief-coping orientation to the problem experienced-28 was adapted to Google Forms and distributed to college students. Chi-square test, independent t-test, Pearson's correlation, and hierarchical multiple regression analysis were used to investigate the determinants of depression and its association with coping mechanisms. Results: On analysis of 884 qualified participants, it was revealed that 402 (45.5%) participants have depressive symptoms ranging from moderate to severe level. The mean score of PHQ-9 was 9.82 ± 6.61. Nearly 85% thought that they were lagging behind in studies. The main determinants of depression in this study were age group of 21–24 years thought of lagging behind in studies and family members/friends/relatives diagnosed with COVID-19. Adaptive coping mechanisms (emotional support, religion, and humor) were significantly associated with lower depressive symptoms and maladaptive coping mechanisms (self-distraction, denial, behavioral disengagement, and venting) were significantly associated with higher depressive symptoms among students. Conclusions: This survey revealed multiple determinants of depression, mainly including academic worries among college students. The college staff should provide a well-structured pedagogical framework to encourage them and alleviate the unpleasant psychological effects of pandemic on students.

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