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Predictors of psychiatric symptom scores in a sample of Turkish high school students


Perihan Güner-Küçükkaya, Koç University, School of Nursing, Güzelbahçe sokak, No. 20 34365, Istanbul, Turkey. Email:


Most mental health problems start in adolescence and early adulthood. According to the literature, one out of five children and adolescents suffers at least one mental health problem. In this cross-sectional study, the distribution of psychiatric symptom scores among 728 Turkish high school students in grades 9, 10, and 11 was examined and associated with the students' gender, type of school, and grade level, as well as parental attitudes. The Brief Symptom Inventory and The Global Severity Index were used in this study. The latter is a global index of the former, and assesses indications of psychopathological disturbance. Girls score significantly higher than boys on all subscales of the Inventory, and specifically the Index. The highest Global Severity Index scores were obtained from the students who were attending vocational high schools, those who were in 11th grade, and those who indicated indifferent parental attitudes. This study revealed the need for a closer investigation of those students who are at severe risk of mental health problems.