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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2012 Dec;47(12):2011-8. doi: 10.1007/s00127-012-0500-2. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

The prevalence and correlates of neurotic disorders among undergraduates at a mainland Chinese university.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jilin University, 1163 Xinmin Street, Changchun, 130021, China.



To study the prevalence and risk factors of neurotic disorders (NDs) among Chinese university students.


Stratified random sampling was used to select students who were interviewed using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 to diagnose psychiatric disorder and collected socio-demographic, and family structure and environment data. The response rate was 90 % (N = 1,843). The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) criteria were used to diagnose NDs. We used logistical regression to evaluate the links between NDs and selected correlates.


The prevalence of NDs was 25.6 % (lifetime), 15.7 % (12-month), and 6.8 % (30-day) among the university students with no significant gender differences in these rates. No family structure characteristics were related to 12-month prevalence of NDs (P > 0.05). In contrast, family environment factors including a history of family disputes (OR 1.562, CI 1.108-2.203), parental mental health problems (OR 1.800, CI 1.379-2.349), and absence of care in childhood (OR 1.916, 95 % CI 1.331-2.759) were associated with higher prevalence rates of NDs.


Our findings show a high prevalence of NDs in this sample of Chinese undergraduates. Social environment factors, in the student's family of orientation, were significantly associated with the prevalence of NDs. These findings support the importance of negative family experiences during childhood and adolescence and increasing vulnerability to NDs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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