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October 2021

Psychol Rep. 1998 Dec; 83(3 Pt 2): 1187-96.

Brain fag symptoms in rural South African secondary school pupils.

Peltzer K, Cherian VI, Cherian L.

Department of Psychology, University of the North, Sovenga, South Africa. [email protected]

The study investigated brain fag symptoms in rural South African Secondary School pupils. The sample included 622 Grade 11, Secondary School pupils in the age range of 17 to 24 years (M age 19.3 yr., SD = 2.6) chosen at random from schools throughout the Northern Province of South Africa. A Cultural Orientation Scale, a Student Stress Scale, a General Self-efficacy Scale and Self-reporting Questionnaire were administered to collect data on socioeconomic status, cultural orientation, stress events, self-efficacy, perceived stress, "neurotic" disorder, and brain fag symptoms. Analysis indicated that 25% of the pupils suffered from the brain fag symptoms. There were positive significant relations for collectivism, socioeconomic status, female birth order, depression score on the Self-reporting Questionnaire, total score but not the anxiety score of the questionnaire with brain fag symptoms. This suggests the brain fag syndrome is basically a depressive disorder and to some extent an anxiety and depressive disorder. The findings are discussed in relation to the nature of brain fag symptoms, precipitating factors, and socioeconomic status.

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