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Invited Commentary
February 2017

Prevention Targets for Child and Adolescent Depression

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(2):160-161. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3160

In this issue of JAMA Psychiatry, Rice and colleagues1 challenge us to prioritize the prevention of child and adolescent depression. As summarized by the authors, the problem is of major public health significance.

The study’s major contribution is the examination and elucidation of pathways to first-onset major depressive disorder (MDD) in children and adolescents 9 to 17 years old at high risk for depression as indexed by a parental history of at least 2 episodes of MDD. Much extant work has identified those risk factors that place adolescents at highest risk for depression, such as the independent influences of parental depression and low socioeconomic status, both of which increase the hazard ratios 2-fold for adolescent depression.2

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