The study examined social support, self-esteem and religiosity as predictors of depression control among youths in Nigeria, a case study of babcock university, ilishan-remo, ogun state

The study employed the survey design and the purposive sampling technique to select 450 students across all faculties. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained through the administration of the questionnaires was analyzed using the Pearson correlation analysis.


The results showed that there is positive and significant relationship between Social support and depression control (r=0.772; p<0.05). Furthermore, a positive and significant relationship self-esteem is helping in depression control (r=.896; p<0.05). Also, a positive and significant relationship between religiosity and depression control (r=0.772; p<0.05).

The study concluded that social support, self-esteem and religiosity are crucial factors and strong predictors of depression control among youths in Nigeria.

The study suggested that; The government should give out educational scholarship to youths to enable them have more self-esteem; The parents should give there children educational investment either through the banks or insurance companies, this will enable them have been reason to live even if the parent dies; Religions leader should encourage the youth more, and make them realise why they shouldn't be depressed according to the word of God; The parents should try and meet the children needs and partially wants; The government should provide more jobs in the economy, by this the unemployment rate will reduce drastically in Nigeria, and thi won't give the youths a depression of unemployment.









1.0       Background of the Study

 Depression is one of the most widespread mental disorders among youths (Kiringlen, Torgersen & Crammer, 2001) in Western society. Depression is an affective, or mood disorder. It is an illness that immerses its sufferers in a world of self-blame, confusion and hopelessness. It is an illness of the mind. Some could argue that depression is a way of coping with life’s pressures (Schwartz, 1993). In the past, depression was not recognized to exist among youths. However, researchers studying depression suggest that depression exist among youths (Loh, 2010).

Depression in youths has been acknowledged as a problem (Nunley, 2001). Depressive symptoms are often viewed as normal adolescents’ behavior or moodiness. Adolescents with depressive symptoms have difficulty expressing how they feel and may use other means of expression such as acting out which often interpreted as misbehavior. Early psychoanalytic formulations presumed that young adolescents did not have the psychological structure (e.g. super ego functions) to truly experience depression, clinical and empirical evidence revealed that adolescents do indeed suffer from both depressive symptoms and depressive disorders. In fact, depression in adolescent was overlooked rather than “masked” possibly because of disruptive behaviors and co morbid disorders were more salient than were depressive symptoms. Depression is a serious problem that impacts every aspect of adolescents’ life. It can lead to drug abuse, self-loathing and pregnancy, violence and even suicide. Depression can destroy the very essence of adolescents’ personality causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair or anger. Usually, adolescents rely on parents, teachers, or caregivers to recognize his or her suffering and get him or her treatment.

Depression in youths is increasing on an alarming rate and statistics on adolescent depression are sobering. Studies have indicated that depression in youths affects approximately 35-40% of the adolescent’s population, most alarming among adolescents. One among five may suffer from depression (Ruston, Forcier and Schectman, 2002). The impact of depression is detrimental to the psychological well-being of the people including adolescents, which will bring adverse effect to a country’s progress.

Many factors influence youth’s depression. Among such factors are academic work, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, parental care, etc. However, this study focuses on three of this factors which are social support, self-esteem and religiosity, (Rohner, 2007).

Finch & Vega (2003) discussed that social support among youths involves measures of social, emotional and spiritual support along with the peers and family groups. Yeh & Inose (2003) social support is predictors of depression control. Very often, social support systems play a great part in validating individuals’ self- concept. When there is lack of social support, it is very easy for the individuals to feel rejected as they perceive selves as losers, failure or outcast. So they become depressed and isolate self.

Youth’s depression may also have a link to self-esteem. Self -esteem is the ability to be assured of one’s own abilities, talents, worth, value as well as having personal acceptance, approval and respect for one-self. Studies conducted in 1990s revealed that depression and low self-esteem occur with disproportionately high among adolescents (Orth, Robbins and Meier, 2009). Low self-esteem also means the development of a poor or negative self-image. Such beliefs can become a self-fulfilling prophecy of expecting to fail (Riddick, 1996). Although most adolescents experience difficulty in developing positive self-esteem, research indicate that adolescents who maintain positive self-esteem report more positive affective states, greater wellness, more life satisfaction, and fewer depressive symptoms (Dixon, 2005). Therefore, if youth have high self-esteem, they may report lower levels of depression.

The word religiosity is conceptualized as ritualistic or liturgical practices, organized belief systems and doctrines, and desire to relate to the sacred and divine (Kim & Esquivel, 2011). Going by this notion, it could be concluded that Nigeria as a nation is a religious nation since a greater percentage of its populace is attached to one form of religion or the other which influence virtually all aspects of their behaviors. Explaining perceived reasons why religion may have a potent influence in curbing youths from undesirable social vices, Rohrbaugh and Jessor (1975) explained that religion inculcates in youths a sense and awareness of norms, moral order issues and standard or appropriate behavior; establishes the individual in conservative activities in a systematized sanctioning network; and proffers a creed that is based on the nature of the deity as a source of punishment and wrath.

Providing a better understanding of perceived social support, self-esteem and religiosity will help in controlling depression among youth in Nigeria, hence the focus of this study.

Religion is an important part of people’s life. Often it gives an explanation as to why certain events happen – good or bad. Religion can shape one’s view of the world.

1.2   Statement of the problem

Depression is the condition that has regrettably been on the increase in the sub-Saharan part of Africa precisely the West African Sub Region. The negative implication of depression has taken its toll on the nation (Nigeria), this may be as a result of present harsh economic condition which has led to death of several people most especially the Nigerian youths who happen to be the leaders of tomorrow. The constant lack of social support to ensure their growth and development which precipitates to low self-esteem has led the youths to diverse crimes in other to survive which in most cases are not self-sustaining,  this leads to depression. Hence, this study intends to find out how social support, self-esteem and religiosity can serve as a predictors of depression control among youths in Nigeria.


1.3       Aim and Objectives of the study

The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of social support, self-esteem and religiosity as predictors to depression among youths in Nigeria.

Other specific objectives of the study include

i. To examine the rate of depression occurrences among youth in Nigeria.

ii. To examine the impact of Social support on depression control among Youths in Nigeria 

iii. To examine the impact of Self-Esteem on Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria

vi. To assess the Impact of Religiosity on Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria


1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in the course of the study:

        i.            What is the rate of Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria?

      ii.            What are the impact of Social support on depression control among Youths in Nigeria?

    iii.            To what extent can Self-Esteem help in Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria?

    iv.            What are the impact of Religiosity on Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria?


1.5       Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis will guide the study at 0.05 level of significant.

Hypothesis One

H0: Social support has no significance impact on depression control among Youths in Nigeria

Hypothesis Two

H0: Self-Esteem is not helping in Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria

Hypothesis Three

H0: Religiosity has no significance impact on Depression Control among Youths in Nigeria


1.6   Significance of the study

This study would be of immense benefit to the Nigerian Youth, educationist, and the psychologist as it will reveal the influence of social support, self-esteem and religiosity as predictors of Depression control among youth in Nigeria. The study would also be of benefit to students, researchers, and scholars who are interested in developing further study on the subject matter


1.7   Scope of the study

This study covers social support, self-esteem and religiosity as a predictors to depression control among youths in Nigeria. In terms of variables scope, the study will cover three independent variables namely: social support, self-esteem and religiosity and one dependent variable that is depression control. Under social support, the study will cover parental support, peer support, community support, neighbor support and counselors support. Under self-esteem, the study will cover significance, competence, power and virtue while under religiosity the study will cover cognition (knowing), feelings (affect), doing (behavior).


1.8 Definitions of terms

Depression is the feeling of severe despondency and dejection by the youth.

Self-esteem is the feeling of satisfaction that youths have in him or herself and him or her own abilities.

Religiosity is the quality of been religious by youths.

Social support is the various types of support that youths receive from others which can be emotional, instrumental and sometimes informational.

Control is the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events

Youth is the period between childhood and adult age.