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Title: Self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress in Portuguese primary school-aged children
Authors: Costa, Diogo 
Cunha, Marina 
Ferreira, Cláudia 
Gama, Augusta 
Machado-Rodrigues, Aristides M. 
Marques, Vitor Rosado 
Nogueira, Helena 
Silva, Maria Raquel G. 
Padez, Cristina 
Keywords: Depression; Anxiety; Stress; Determinants; Children; Primary-school
Issue Date: 27-Feb-2020
Publisher: Springer Nature
Project: PTDC/DTP-SAP/1520/2014 
Serial title, monograph or event: BMC Psychiatry
Volume: 20
Issue: 1
Abstract: Background: Symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress experienced during childhood might have a negative impact on development. This study explores factors associated with such symptoms among Portuguese primary school-aged children. Methods: A sample of children (n = 1022, mean age = 8.77 years old) was recruited in public and private schools from the cities of Coimbra, Lisbon and Porto, Portugal. The children’s version of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-C) was self-administered. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to measure associations (expressed as Odds Ratio, OR and 95% Confidence Intervals, CI) between each DASS-C subscale, dichotomized by its 4th vs. 3rd or less quartiles (symptoms increase with scores), and covariates: child sex, age, socioeconomic status (SES), sports activity beyond school, children self-assessed health status, child and mother’s body mass index and mother’s DASS scores. Results: Age was negatively associated with anxiety symptoms (adjusted OR, 95% CI: 0.70, 0.57–0.87) and girls, compared to boys, presented lower odds of depressive and stress symptoms (adjusted OR, 95% CI: 0.65, 0.47–0.92 and 0.57, 0.41–0.80, respectively). A low socioeconomic status was associated with more frequent symptoms of stress (adjusted OR, 95%CI for low compared to high SES: 1.61, 1.01–2.56). Children with poorer self-assessed health status and whose mothers scored higher in the DASS also presented significantly higher odds of scoring in the 4th quartile (vs. 3rd or less) of the three DASS-C subscales. Conclusions: These results suggest the need to tailor preventive efforts targeting childhood mental health symptoms.
ISSN: 1471-244X
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-020-02498-z
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIAS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
I&D CINEICC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
I&D CEGOT - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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