Prevalence of depression and its correlative factors among female adolescents in China during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak

Global Health. 2020 Jul 28;16(1):69. doi: 10.1186/s12992-020-00601-3.


Background: The outbreak of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) could increase the risk of depression. However, epidemiological data on outbreak-associated depressive morbidity of female adolescents are not available. This study determines the incidence and correlates of depression among female adolescents aged 11-18 years during the COVID-19 outbreak in mainland China.

Methods: A large cross-sectional sample, nationwide online survey was conducted during the COVID-19 outbreak. Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the correlative factors of depression were analyzed.

Results: In this study, 4805 female adolescents were enrolled with a median (range) age of 15 (11-18) years. Of them, 1899 (39.5%) suffered from depression with a CES-D score of > 15. The onset of depression was significantly related to age, grade, distant learning, attitude toward COVID-19, sleep duration, and physical exercise duration. Furthermore, participants aged 15-18 years (OR = 1.755, 95% CI: 1.550-1.987, p < 0.001), participating in distant learning (OR = 0.710, 95% CI: 0.564-0.894, p = 0.004), concerned about COVID-19 (OR = 0.414, 95% CI: 0.212-0.811, p = 0.010), with sleep duration/day of < 6 h (OR = 2.603, 95% CI: 1.946-3.483, p < 0.001),and with physical exercise duration/day < 30 min (OR = 1.641, 95% CI: 1.455-1.850, p < 0.001) represented to be independent factors for suffering from depression.

Conclusion: During the COVID-19 outbreak, depression was common among female adolescents. Older age, distant learning, concern about COVID-19, short sleep duration, and physical exercise duration represented the independent factors for suffering from depression.

Keywords: Adolescent; COVID-19; Depression; Female; Outbreak; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires