Prevalence and risk indicators of depressed mood in on-reserve first nations youth

Mark E. Lemstra, Marla R. Rogers, Adam T. Thompson, Lauren Redgate, Meghan Garner, Raymond Tempier, John S. Moraros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The first objective was to determine the prevalence of depressive mood in First Nations youth in school grades 5 through 8 in seven on-reserve communities. The second objective was to determine the unadjusted and adjusted risk indicators associated with depressed mood in these youth. Methods: Students in grades 5 through 8 in the seven reserve communities of the Saskatoon Tribal Council were asked to complete a paper and pencil, comprehensive youth health survey in May 2010. An eight-stage consent protocol was followed prior to participation. Results: Out of 271 students eligible to participate, 204 youth completed the survey for a response rate of 75.3%. Using the Center for Epidemiological Studies of Depression scale, 25% of the youth had moderate depressive symptoms. After cross-tabulation, 1 socio-economic variable, 10 social variables, 3 social support variables, 1 self-esteem variable, 5 parental relationship variables and 3 bullying variables were associated with depressed mood. Logistic regression was used to determine four independent risk indicators associated with having depressed mood in First Nations youth, including: 1) not having worked through things that happened during childhood, 2) not having someone who shows love and affection, 3) having a lot of arguments with parents and 4) being physically bullied at least once per week. Conclusions: Our study found high rates of depressed mood in on-reserve First Nations youth. These youth are now at increased risk for problems later in life unless successful interventions can be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Minority groups
  • Risk factors


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