Evaluation of the Correlations between Depression, Anxiety, and Stress as DASS-21 Subscales and High-Risk Behaviors in the Adolescents in Torghabeh and Shandiz Towns, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Students Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Clinical Research Unit, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.

4 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

5 School of Public Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.


Introduction: Adolescence is a critical period in life, which is associated with tumultuous transitions and “storm and stress. The present study aimed to evaluate the correlation between depression, anxiety, and stress with the high-risk behaviors among the adolescents in Torghabeh and Shandiz towns, Iran.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 90 adolescents from the high schools. Participants were selected via two-stage sampling. Data were collected using the validated Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and history of high-risk behaviors in the students. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 16.
Results:Variable degrees of depression, anxiety, and stress were reported in 43.3%, 43.3%, and 38.9% of the students, respectively. Although the difference was not statistically significant, female students were more affected by the mentioned disorders compared to the male students. Among the high-risk behaviors, smoking cigarettes was significantly correlated with the depression, anxiety, and stress subscales. In addition, a significant association was observed between opium consumption and stress. However, no significant correlation was observed between smoking hookah and the DASS-21 subscales. Regular alcohol consumption was found to be significantly correlated with the higher rate of depression in the studied adolescents. Also, premarital sexual behaviors had a significant association with the stress and depression subscales.
Conclusion: Lack of attention to depression, anxiety, and stress and their risk factors in adolescents may lead to variable degrees of life dissatisfaction in the community. Therefore, it is recommended that on-school mental screening programs be performed for high-school students in order prevent these complications.