Demography of Mental Health Among Young Married Women in a Rural Setting in India

Atreyee Sinha , International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Very few studies have investigated mental health in India. The present paper provides a picture of the demography of symptomatic depression among young married women. Data come from a primary survey of 500 young married women (18-30 years) in 10 selected villages of North Dinajpur District of West Bengal, India. Descriptive results underscored wide prevalence of depression; experience of depressive symptoms like sadness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, lack of self-confidence, sleeplessness, anxiety, suicidal thoughts were common. Binary logistic regression revealed a significant religious disparity with Muslims being more depressed. Interestingly, women who had primary and above primary level of education, working, had more number of daughters and history of spousal control were more likely to be depressed. Conversely, having higher marital satisfaction and higher life satisfaction were associated with lower prevalence of depression. Integration of mental health services with women’s health programmes are recommended for wider coverage.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2