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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64-70

Stress and suicidal ideation among adolescents having academic difficulty


1 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Priti Arun
Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_5_17

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Background and Objectives: Academically typically achieving adolescents were compared with students having academic difficulty on stress and suicidal ideas. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 75 academically typically achieving adolescents were compared with 105 students with academic difficulty and 52 students with specific learning disability (SLD). Academic functioning was assessed using teacher's screening instrument, intelligence quotient, and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences index for SLD. Stress and suicidal ideas were assessed using general health questionnaire, suicide risk-11, and Mooney Problem Checklist (MPC). Appropriate statistical methods were applied. Results: Three groups were comparable on age, gender, mother's working status, being only child, nuclear family, self-reported academic decline, and type of school. About half of adolescents reported psychological problems on General Health Questionnaire (mean score >3 in all the groups). Academically typically achieving adolescents showed higher stressors in peer relationships, planning for future and suicidal ideation compared to adolescents with academic difficulty. Adolescents face stress regarding worry about examinations, family not understanding what child has to do in school, unfair tests, too much work in some subjects, afraid of failure in school work, not spending enough time in studies, parental expectations, wanting to be more popular, worried about a family member, planning for the future, and fear of the future. Significant positive correlation was seen between General Health Questionnaire scores and all four subscales of MPC. Suicidal ideas showed a negative correlation with MPC. Interpretations and Conclusions: Adolescents experience considerable stress in multiple areas irrespective of their academic ability and performance. Hence, assessment and management of stress among adolescents must extend beyond academic difficulties.


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