Anxiety, depression, stress, and decision-making among orphans and non-orphans in Pakistan

Document Type



Educational Development


Purpose: Orphanhood is a time which involves many psychological and emotional problems. Lack of self-determination and inability to take decision puts orphans at risk of anxiety. In Pakistan, there is minimal evidence which explores the relationship between anxiety, depression, stress, and decision-making among orphans. The aim of the study is to explore the relationship between anxiety, depression, stress, and decision-making among orphans and non-orphans adolescents.
Methods: The sample size consisted of 150 orphans and 150 non-orphans adolescents (n=300). The data were collected from different orphanages and schools located in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. The instruments used were Depression, Anxiety & Stress Scales (DASS) and the Adolescent Decision Making Questionnaire (ADMQ). Descriptive statistics was used to determine the mean, standard deviations, and range. Pearson product moment was used to determine the correlation. The independent t test was performed to determine gender differences, and simple regression analysis was used to predict the effect of social interaction anxiety.
Results: The correlation matrix for decision making, stress, anxiety, depression and DASS indicated that decision making has significant correlation with stress (r= 0.30, **p<0.01), anxiety (r=0.27**, p<0.01) and depression (r= 0.15*, p<0.05). Independent t test revealed significant gender differences between orphan and non-orphans (M=9.45, SD=5.06) (M=8.03, SD=3.61) t(217)=2.48 p=0.01 <0.05. Simple regression analysis indicated that anxiety is a significant predictor of decision making β = 0.276, F=17.90, p<0.001.
Conclusion: The study has implications. First, there is a need to raise awareness at governmental and non-governmental institutions towards finding therapeutic programs for orphans. Second, screening for depression and mental and psychological care should be integrated into routine health care provided to orphans. Third, there should be furnishing of life skills training for orphans such as stress management, coping skills, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Psychology Research and Behavior Management