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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-27

Determinants of depression and its associated coping mechanisms among college students confined during COVID-19 Lockdown: A cross-sectional e-survey in 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:
Dr. Sunny Garg
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/amhs.amhs_336_20

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Background and Aim: During COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, mental health of students was highly pregnable to the loss of social connectedness, disarray of normal pattern of activities as well as academic issues. Adopted coping mechanisms may have played a significant role in surmounting the challenges related to the pandemic. The main aim of the survey is to evaluate the prevalence of depression, its determinants, and association with coping mechanisms among college students during COVID-19 lockdown. Materials and Methods: College students were invited during lockdown to participate in a nationwide cross-sectional e-survey using Snowball sampling technique (dated October 6–30, 2020). A total sample size of 920 was calculated. A self-administered questionnaire regarding sociodemographic characteristics, COVID-19-related experiences along with two scales (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9] and Carver Brief-Coping Orientation to the Problem Experienced-28) for assessment of depression, and adopted coping mechanisms was applied to participants. 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 in college students. Results: On analysis of 884 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% of the students were lagging behind in studies. Around 5%–10% of the students initiated/increased the consumption of substances. The main determinants of depression in this study were the 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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