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Domestic violence exposure and depression symptoms among adolescents in a rural area in the Galle District

Authors:

T. T. Ponnamperuma ,

University of Ruhuna Galle, LK
About T. T.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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V. C. D. Kudagama

Medical Officer of Health, Udugama, Galle, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Violence in society and mental health problems associated with it are on the rise. Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable groups for this problem. Whether the child is a direct victim or a witness of a violent event, violence brings deleterious effect to his/her mental wellbeing. The present study, investigated the association between exposure to domestic violence and depression symptoms in adolescents.

 

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in two large secondary schools in the Udugama medical officer of health (MOH) area. From grades 10 and 11, four classes were selected randomly from each school and all who were present on the day of data collection were enrolled for the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess domestic violence exposures (CDEV- Scale) and depression symptoms (CESDC scale) in these children.

 

Results: There were 346 children (females 52%), aged between 14 - 16 years. In the sample 25.1% (n=87) were exposed to domestic violence and among them, 31.5% met diagnostic criteria for depression. Depression was reported significantly more in the domestic violence exposed group than in the non-exposed group (c2=7.09; p<0.01). Depression symptoms significantly increased with the increased severity of domestic violence exposure (295) = -0.21, p<0.01. In the regression model, domestic violence exposure significantly predicted depression symptoms even after controlling for known confounders, age, gender, and socioeconomic status (β=0.13, p<0.01).

 

Conclusions & recommendations: Exposure to domestic violence is common and it significantly associated with depression in adolescents in the group studied. This highlights the need for domestic violence prevention programs, and mental health intervention and a support system for adolescents in the country.
How to Cite: Ponnamperuma, T.T. and Kudagama, V.C.D., 2022. Domestic violence exposure and depression symptoms among adolescents in a rural area in the Galle District. Galle Medical Journal, 27(2), pp.46–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v27i2.8155
Published on 11 Oct 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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