Depression among Chinese university students: prevalence and socio-demographic correlates.

PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58379 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0058379


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Lu Chen

Lin Wang

Xiao Hui Qiu

Xiu Xian Yang

Zheng Xue Qiao

Yan Jie Yang

Yuan Liang


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The purpose of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of depression in Chinese university students, and to identify the socio-demographic factors associated with depression in this population. A multi-stage stratified sampling procedure was used to select university students (Nā€Š=ā€Š5245) in Harbin (Heilongjiang Province, Northeastern China), who were aged 16-35 years. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to determine depressive symptoms of the participants. BDI scores of 14 or higher were categorized as depressive for logistic regression analysis. Depression was diagnosed by the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). 11.7% of the participants had a BDI score 14 or higher. Major Depressive Disorder was seen in 4.0% of Chinese university students. There were no statistical differences in the incidence of depression when gender, ethnicity, and university classification were analyzed. Multivariate analysis showed that age, study year, satisfaction with major, family income situation, parental relationship and mother's education were significantly associated with depression. Moderate depression is prevalent in Chinese university students. The students who were older, dissatisfied with their major, had a lower family income, poor parental relationships, and a lower level of mother's education were susceptible to depression.