Davis Manuel1, Mini John2, Rekha N. S3
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric problem in school going children worldwide.
This study was done to find the prevalence and risk factors for anxiety disorders in adolescents in rural Kerala.
A school based survey was done among children of 10 to 13 years using SCARED anxiety scale. Specific items in the SCARED scale were used to assess panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and school avoidance, detailed assessments of various sociodemographic variables were also done.
A total of 250 children were studied – 147 girls and 103 boys. Anxiety disorders were found to be highly prevalent in the study population (45.6% affected) and girls were disproportionately more affected (53.4% vs. 40.1%, p = 0.0389). It was present among all socio-economic strata.
These findings call for urgent remedial measures involving the students, parents, teachers, school management, policy makers and the media.