Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 15, No. 1, 2017
DOI: 10.36108/ijss/7102.51.0140

Personality Predictors of Clinical Symptoms of Depression among Students in a Nigerian University

Olley, B.O.

Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


Factors associated with clinical symptoms of depression remains vastly inconclusive despite the high rate of prevalence reported among University students worldwide. However, little is known about the pattern among Nigerian students. This study investigated predictors of depression with a model involving socio-demographic, parental and personality variables such as self esteem, locus of control, academic and general self efficacy among 612 undergraduate participants. They include 263 males and 376females; mean age 21.3, standard deviation [SDJ 4.5) at various levels of studies in 4 faculties. The students were assessed using the Centre for Epidemiological Study Depression Scale (CES-D), the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSE), Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), College Academic Self Efficacy Scale (CASES) and Nicholson McBride Resilience Questionnaire (NMRQ). In addition. living arrangement, satisfaction with course of study, current alcohol and tobacco use were assessed. Overall, the prevalence of clinical depressive symptoms [CES-D score> 20] was 45%. This consists of 136 (22%) who indicated that they were mild/moderately depressed and 140 (23%) who indicated they were severely depressed. Bivariate analysis for categorical variables showed increasing academic years of study (p=0.01) and non satisfaction with the course of study (P=0.01) to significantly related to depression. Multinomial regression analysis revealed three variables; low self esteem OR= 1.99 (95% CI = 1.31 – 3.04), low general self efficacy OR= 1.57 (95% CI = 1.02 – 2.41) and external LOC OR= 1.83 (95% CI = 1.07 – 3.13) to significantly predict severity in depression. It is well known from among western populations of university students that depression is highly prevalent and that personality factors may play significant role in its occurrence. These data also emphasize the importance of these links among Nigerian students.


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