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July 1970

Childhood DepressionClinical Characteristics of Overtly Depressed Children

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich
From the Children's Psychiatric Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(1):8-15. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750010010004

THE existence of depression as a clinical entity before adolescence is far from accepted. The tendency is to regard depression in children as being "masked" or expressed in behavioral equivalents rather than directly observable.

Our impression is that affective depression is seen clinically in children, although it is not always described. In order to determine whether affective depression in children was being recorded in the Out-Patient Department of Children's Psychiatric Hospital, we reviewed the case records from 1964 to 1968 coded as having depressive symptomatology. From these an attempt was made to: (1) find clinical correlates which would aid in the recognition of depression in children and (2) find common denominators to further expand the growing knowledge about childhood depression relevant to the child's age, behavioral pattern, past history, and family relationships (Table).

Rie's1 review of depression in childhood lead him to state, "The familiar manifestations of adult, nonpsychotic

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