Psychosocial distress has emerged as one of the world’s major public health problems, especially among adolescents in both low- and middle-income countries. This study used data from the 2015 version of the Global School-Based Health Survey to determine the risk and protective factors for psychosocial distress among in-school adolescents in Tanzania.
Materials and methods
Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the magnitude of associations. A total of 2936 students participated in the study, of which 52.3% were female.
Psychosocial distress was found in 16.9% of the students at similar rates for both males and females. The risk factors associated with psychosocial distress were hunger (OR = 1.57, p < 0.001), being bullied (OR = 1.92, p < 0.001), being attacked (OR = 1.31, p < 0.05), engaging in physical activity (OR = 1.33, p < 0.05), truancy (OR = 1.28, p < 0.05) and tobacco use (OR = 2.40, p < 0.01). However, the protective factors were grade (OR = 0.55, p < 0.01) and having one or two (OR = 0.56, p < 0.01) and three or more close friends (OR = 0.57, p < 0.01).
The prevalence of psychosocial distress among adolescents in Tanzania is relatively high and appears to be common among both sexes. To reduce psychosocial distress among in-school adolescents, more attention needs to be paid to the risk factors whiles encouraging healthy relationships among adolescents and their close friends.
Bibliographical noteWe extend our sincere appreciation to all students and teachers for their participation and assistance in the GSHS. We are also grateful to the WHO and its partners for making the data freely available for this study.
- Psychosocial distress