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November 1983

Depression in a Sample of 9-Year-Old Children: Prevalence and Associated Characteristics

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(11):1217-1223. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790100063009

• We investigated the prevalence of depression in a sample of 9-year-old children from the general population being studied longitudinally. Current point prevalences of major and minor depressive disorder were estimated at 1.8% and 2.5%, respectively. A comparison of children with depression and a nondepressed group disclosed no significant differences by sex, nor any significant association between depression and socioeconomic status, teacher reports of behavior problems, and cognitive or motor development. The children with current depression were reported by a parent to have had a history of more behavioral problems, had been referred more often for assessment or treatment of behavioral or emotional problems, and had more negative self-perceptions of their academic ability. The results suggested that parents may be more sensitive than teachers to the behavior problems exhibited by depressed children.