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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume VI, Issue VII, July 2022 | ISSN 2454–6186

Prevalence of Depression among Adolescents in Narok County Kenya

Hamisi Antipas, Sabina Mutisya, PhD, Maria Ntaragwe, PhD
Department of Psychology, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Depression is one of the most prevalent common mental disorders globally. This condition is also known to be a risk factor for other conditions such as suicidality, drug use disorders and delinquency among others. Understanding the prevalence of depression is important in designing intervention strategies. The sample size included 16 public secondary schools with 396 participants. Simple random and stratified sampling techniques were used. Data were collected using standardized questionnaire for depression, the PHQ 9. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results showed that across all the different types of schools, most of the students had a low levels of depression. The highest number of students with low or moderate levels of depression were in mixed boarding schools followed by mixed day secondary schools. The study recommends provision of resources to help strengthen the school guidance and counseling departments. Strengthening the relationships between parents, learning institutions and adolescents through regular engagement.

Key words: Depression, Adolescents, common mental disorders


According to World Health Organization (2019), depression is a mental illness that is characterized by persistent sadness, lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, disturbed sleep patterns, and loss of appetite, tiredness and poor concentration. Depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disabilities among youths globally (WHO, 2018). Depression is characterized by the presence of sad, empty or irritable mood, accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes that significantly affect individual’s capacity to function (American Psychiatric Association, 2019). Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression (WHO, 2020). It is the fourth foremost cause of social exhaustion in the world. Depression is mirrored as a major health problem which causes decline of productivity in studies or work, cognitive, psychomotor and vegetative alterations, loss of initiative and apathy (Nagaraja, Reddy, Ravishankar, Jagadisha & Muninarayana (2015). Depression, especially in early adulthood, can cause negative effects in academic success, future relationships, employment, and might lead to alcohol and substance abuse (Eisenberg, Gollust, Golberstein, & Hefner, 2007). Depressed people are likely to feel worthless, incompetent and inadequate, this in turn affects the person’s mental health and wellbeing.
It is estimated that 20% of youths in the United States have some type of disorder by the age18 years (Allison et al., 2018). Cases of depression are common because it affects 1 in