Childhood Adversity and Mental Health Status of Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Universities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan

  • Ayesha Fazal Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Seemi Tanvir Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Siham Sikander Health Services Academy, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Ayesha Naseem Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Mariam Babar Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, Islamabad Pakistan
Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences (ACE), Anxiety, Childhood adversity, Common mental disorders, Depression

Abstract

Objective: To determine the frequency of childhood adversities among the university students of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and compare those adversities with their current mental health by measuring depression and anxiety.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad and ARID Agricultural University, Rawalpindi Pakistan from May to Aug 2019.

Methodology: Survey data of 388 students between 19-25 years of age group was collected from 2 universities in the twin cities using a simple random sampling method for data collection in the form of questionnaires. First, frequencies of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) were determined, followed by a comparison of ACE with common mental disorders, i.e., depression using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and anxiety using Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) using the chi-squared test.

Results: The frequency of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) was found to be highest among those students who had an ACE score of 1-3 (74.7%), followed by those with an ACE score of 4-6 (24.7%). Overall, females had more ACE (66.8%) than males (33.2%). Strong association of ACEs with depression (p-value <0.05) and anxiety (p-value <0.005) was found.

Conclusion: Childhood adversity has adverse results not only on the affected individual's life but also on the people around that individual. For example, early life trauma in children of different age groups results in depression for a lifetime, anxiety disorders, cognitive dysfunctions, and lack of effective communication.

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Published
2022-06-26
How to Cite
Fazal, A., Tanvir, S., Sikander, S., Naseem, A., & Babar, M. (2022). Childhood Adversity and Mental Health Status of Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study at the Universities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan. PAFMJ, 72(3), 952-55. https://doi.org/10.51253/pafmj.v72i3.5277
Section
Original Articles