Nigar G. Khawaja, Maria Luisa R. Santos, Mojtaba Habibi and Rachel Smith

Australian, Iranian and Portuguese university students (n = 967) completed the University Students Depression Inventory (USDI) in English, Persian and Portuguese languages, respectively. A series of MANOVA analyses were used to examine differences in depression symptoms as an effect of the country and demographic variables. Interactions were also examined. The results indicated that country, gender and year level had some impact on the depressive symptoms of the university students. Australian students were more depressed than the Iranian and Portuguese students, while Iranian students were more depressed than the Portuguese students. Sub-scales of USDI – Lethargy, Motivation and Cognitive/Emotional – were also used to compare the depressive symptoms of students. The Australian female students reported a significantly higher level of lethargy than their male counterparts. Similarly, the first-year male students from Iran were significantly more lethargic than the first-year Iranian female students. Iranian and Portuguese male students, compared to the female students of these countries, experienced a lower level of motivation. The Australian and Iranian students, compared to the Portuguese students, reported a significantly higher level of cognitive and affective symptoms. The scores on the Cognitive/Emotional sub-scale increased with the year level. Differences among students’ depression are described and implications discussed.
Keywords: cognitions and affect; depression; lethargy; motivation; university students


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University students depression: a cross-cultural investigation

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