Does ragging play a role in medical student depression - Cause or effect?

João Maurício Castaldelli-Maia, Silvia Saboia Martins, Dinesh Bhugra, Marcelo Polazzo MacHado, Arthur Guerra De Andrade, Clóvis Alexandrino-Silva, Sérgio Baldassin, Tania Côrrea De Toledo Ferraz Alves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Medical students experience a lot of stress what may contribute to symptoms of depression. In this study we set out to look at the environmental factors which may be contributing in one medical school in Brazil. Methods: We assessed depressive symptoms using Beck's Depression Inventory in 465 and 267 medical students in 2001 and 2006 respectively. We explored possible social and environmental causes using qualitative data. Results: Nearly 15% scored above the cut off for depression in both the samples. Males in the pre-clinical stage in 2006 showed an increase in depressive symptoms than males in the same cycle in 2001 (aOR = 7.36 [95% CI = 0.85-63.5] p = 0.07). Qualitative data confirmed that factors such as ragging and low social involvement were correlated with depressive symptoms in pre-clinical stage males. Limitations: The sample size was small both for quantitative and qualitative aspects of the study. Conclusions: It appears that ragging plays an important role in the genesis of depressive symptoms in medical students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Medical student
  • Ragging
  • Social involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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