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Depression in childhood and adolescence

Maughan, B., Collishaw, Stephan and Stringaris, A. 2013. Depression in childhood and adolescence. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 22 (1) , pp. 35-40.

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Abstract

Objective To review recent evidence on child and adolescent depression. Method Narrative review. Results Rates of unipolar depression are low before puberty, but rise from the early teens, especially among girls. Concurrent comorbidity with both disruptive and emotional disorders is common, especially among younger children; across age, youth depression may be preceded by both anxiety and disruptive behaviour disorders, and increase risk for alcohol problems. Adolescent depression is associated with a range of adverse later outcomes including suicidality, problems in social functioning and poor physical and mental health. Across development, a family history of depression and exposure to stressful life events are the most robust risk factors for depression. Familial transmission involves both psychosocial and heritable processes; genetic and environmental influences also combine to influence risk. Neurocognitive and neuroendocrine pathways have been established, but contributors to the adolescent rise in risk, and the female preponderance later in development, remain to be clarified. Depressed youth benefit from psychological therapy or antidepressant medication or their combination; however, treatment effects are moderate. Conclusions Despite considerable progress in understanding developmental trajectories to depression, more needs to be done to identify disease mechanisms that may serve as intervention targets early in the life course.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
ISSN: 1719-8429
Date of Acceptance: 18 November 2012
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/85187

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