Prevalence and correlates of psychiatric disorders in a national survey of Iranian children and adolescents

Mohammad Reza Mohammadi, Nastaran Ahmadi, Ali Khaleghi, Seyed Ali Mostafavi, Koorosh Kamali, Mehdi Rahgozar, Ameneh Ahmadi, Zahra Hooshyari, Seyyed Salman Alavi, Parviz Molavi, Nasrin Sarraf, Seyed Kaveh Hojjat, Soleiman Mohammadzadeh, Shahrokh Amiri, Soroor Arman, Ahmad Ghanizadeh, Ahmad Ahmadipour, Rahim Ostovar, Hedayat Nazari, Seyed Hamzeh HosseiniAtieh Golbon, Firoozeh Derakhshanpour, Ali Delpisheh, Forough Riahi, Siavash Talepasand, Azizollah Mojahed, Naser Hajian Motlagh, Aazam Sadat Heydari Yazdi, Mohammad Ahmadpanah, Reza Dastjerdi, Houshang Amirian, Alireza Armani, Parvin Safavi, Maryam Kousha, Anita Alaghmand, Mahin Eslami Shahrbabaki, Arezou Kiani, Javad Mahmoudi Gharaei, Alia Shakiba, Hadi Zarafshan, Maryam Salmanian, Eric Taylor, Eric Fombonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objective: Considering the impact of rapid sociocultural, political, and economical changes on societies and families, population-based surveys of mental disorders in different communities are needed to describe the magnitude of mental health problems and their disabling effects at the individual, familial, and societal levels. Method: A population-based cross sectional survey (IRCAP project) of 30 532 children and adolescents between 6 and 18 years was conducted in all provinces of Iran using a multistage cluster sampling method. Data were collected by 250 clinical psychologists trained to use the validated Persian version of the semi-structured diagnostic interview Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-PL (K-SADS-PL). Results: In this national epidemiological survey, 6209 out of 30 532 (22.31%) were diagnosed with at least one psychiatric disorder. The anxiety disorders (14.13%) and behavioral disorders (8.3%) had the highest prevalence, while eating disorders (0.13%) and psychotic symptoms (0.26%) had the lowest. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders was significantly lower in girls (OR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.80-0.90), in those living in the rural area (OR = 0.80; 95% CI: 0.73-0.87), in those aged 15-18 years (OR = 0.92; 95% CI: 0.86-0.99), as well as that was significantly higher in those who had a parent suffering from mental disorders (OR = 1.96; 95% CI: 1.63-2.36 for mother and OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.07-1.66 for father) or physical illness (OR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.17-1.35 for mother and OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.10-1.28 for father). Conclusion: About one fifth of Iranian children and adolescents suffer from at least one psychiatric disorder. Therefore, we should give a greater priority to promoting mental health and public health, provide more accessible services and trainings, and reduce barriers to accessing existing services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalIranian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Child and adolescent
  • Comorbidity
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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