Depression & Social Adjustment among University Student


Objective: The goal of the study was to evaluate the level of depression and social adjustment among university student.

Method: Single subject design was used to select the sample through purposive sampling technique. A university student aged 21 years old was sample of current study. In current study, instrument such as Depression scale from DASS and Rooter incomplete sentence blank (RISB) scale was used to measure the depression and social adjustment. Result: The findings indicated that the severe level of depression while high level of social maladjustment among university student. Conclusion: mindfulness based cognitive therapy will be affective for depression symptoms and Cognitive processing therapy will be effective to deal with social maladjustment.

Keywords: Depression, Social Adjustment & university student.


Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. Moreover, depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities.

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At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Almost 1 million lives are lost yearly due to suicide deaths every day. For every person who competes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end his or her life (WHO, 2012).

Adaptation of the person to the social environment. Adjustment may take place by adapting the self to the environment or by changing the environment. (Campbell, 1996). According to studies, the level of social adjustment of the students differs according to their personality, social characteristics, cultural, demographic, and academic.

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(Justice, & McLachlan, 2009); (Shaydenko, &Tsze, 2011);( C. Fang, & C. Jyh, 2009);( Alfonso, 2012)



A 21 years old Muslim women was a student of BS (Hons). She is overall a bright student but she face difficulty in remembering and in concentrating. Her father is a heart patient and a strict person. Her mother is suffering from migraine, sometimes migraine condition become so severe that she has to be admitted to hospital. She has sleep problems. Mostly she could not sleep at night. She finds it difficult to express her emotions as well as her feelings. She does not like to make friends and has only one friend. She mostly prefers to stay quiet and alone. She has high blood pressure problem. She usually complains about fatigue as well as headache and finds her unable to perform tasks. She get irritated and over react on small things.

Instrument of the study

Two instruments were used for collecting data for the study based on extensive review of the literature. These instrument were Depression scale from DASS, Rooter incomplete sentence blank (RISB).

Depression scale from D.A.S.S. (Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale) by Lovibond, S.H. & Lovibond, P.F. was used to measure the depression. Depression scale contains 14 items, divided into subscales of 2-5 items of same content. Self-reported responses were rated on four point (0-3) Likert Scale, from ‘0’ indicating ‘Did not apply on me at all’ to ‘3’ indicating ‘Applied to me very much or most of time’. The reliability scores of the scale in term of Cronbach’s alpha scores rate the Depression scale at 0.91 and concurrent validity coefficients were found to be high (0.87).

Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank (RISB) by Rotter and Willerman, is sentence completion test. . It is semi structured projective technique in which a subject is asked to finish the sentence for which the first word or words are provided. It measures both adjustment and maladjustment. Its goal is to identifying both the presence and the relative absence of psychopathology. It is a 40 items test composed of sentence stem. It required approx. 20-40 minutes for administration. Each sentence is identified C1, C2, C3, N, P1, P2 or P3 where ‘C’ sentences are conflicted sentences, ‘N’ are neutral or natural sentences and ‘P’ are Positive sentences. Sentences are given score according to this: C3=6, C2=5, C1=4, N=3, P1=2, P2=1 & P3=0. An overall 145 is generally perceived as cutoff score for identifying significant adjustment issues. If total score of the client is higher than 145 then person is socially maladjusted whereas if the scores are below than 145 then person is socially adjusted.


The client scored 23 in depression scale which showed that client has severe type of depression symptoms, which effect the client’s daily working. Client also scored 137 on RISB which fall above the cut off score. High scores of depression indicated that person gets upset easily more than usual and has intense feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, trying her best to bottle up feelings. Although, scores of RISB indicated that the client is socially unadjusted and finds difficult to interact with people around her.


Result showed that the client had severe level of depression. Two therapies Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for depression symptoms and make the thinking more positive and Cognitive Processing therapy for social adjustment.


  1. Alfonso, J. (2012).Drawing predictive determinants of college adjustment: perspectives from two private sectarian collegiate institutions. Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce Vol.-III, Issue 2(1), April. [16]
  2. Campbell, (1996).
  3. Fang Chen, Y & Jyh Chen, H. (2009). A Study on International Student Adjustment from Academic Social and Cultural Viewpoints in Taiwan. International Conference on Business Management and Information Technology Application (BMITA2009).
  4. Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995). Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (2nd. ed.). Sydney: Psychology Foundation.
  5. Justice, J., & McLachlan, D. (2009). A grounded theory of international student well-being. Journal of theory construction and testing, 13, 27-31.
  6. Rotter, J.B., & Willermen, B. (1950). The Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank manual. Cleveland, OH: Psychological Corporation.
  7. Shaydenko, N & Tsze, C. (2011). Social adaptation of chinese students at Russian universities.
  8. World Health Organization, World suicide prevention day 2012.

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Depression & Social Adjustment among University Student. (2019, Nov 26). Retrieved from

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