Inside SMART Africa

Publication in BMC Public Health Journal

Congratulations to Dr. Proscovia Nabunya, Christopher Damulira, William Byansi, Joelynn Muwanga, Dr. Ozge Sensoy Bahar, Flavia Namuwonge, Eloho Ighofose, Dr. Rachel Brathwaite, Wilberforce Tumwesige, and Dr. Fred Ssewamala on the acceptance of their paper “Prevalence and Correlates of Depressive Symptoms Among High School Adolescent Girls in Southern Uganda” for publication in BMC Public Health Journal. This paper examined the prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms among high school adolescent girls (N=1260) in southern Uganda. Results indicate that from the total sample, 16.35% (n=206) reported severe depressive symptoms and almost one in every three adolescent girls interviewed (29.68%, n=374) reported moderate symptoms. These symptoms were more prevalent among older adolescents (16 years and above). In addition, family relationships, social support, as well as measures of psychological well-being (self-concept and self-esteem) were all associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms. Hopelessness was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms among adolescent girls. Findings support increasing calls for early screening and detection of depressive symptoms to facilitate timely referral to care and treatment. Findings may also inform the development and incorporation of gender-specific mental health components in programming targeting adolescent girls, in low-resource communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.