A comparative study on mental health problems of talented junior and ordinary high school students in Semnan, Iran
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Mental health in students is related to several factors. The study was conducted to investigate the mental health problems of talented students in special schools and students from ordinary ones in Semnan province in Iran (2019).

Materials and Methods

In a cross-sectional study using cluster sampling, a group of junior high school students were evaluated using the strengthens and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) for evaluation of mental health in five domains: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior.


From 24 selected public schools, 624 students (304 boys and 320 girls) participated in the study. The relative frequency of problems in special schools (291 people) was 18.6% (95% CI: 14.1 to 23.0) and in ordinary schools (331 people) was 30% (95% CI: 25.1 to 34.9) (P<0.001). The overall prevalence of problems after population weighting was estimated at 28.8%. Talented students showed better status in the areas of emotional and conduct (P<0.001). Adjusting for other variables education in ordinary schools was associated with a significant increase in the chance of having mental health problem (Adjusted OR=1.90, 95% CI: 1.06, 3.42; P=0.032)


Differences in the prevalence of mental health problems may be partly related to individual and the school environment differences. However, the role of socio-economic differences should not be ignored. Given the relatively high prevalence of mental health problems, it is recommended that more attention be paid to effective and periodic screening and monitoring of students, especially in ordinary schools.

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