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November 1983

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

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Missouri, Columbia (Drs Kashani and Robins); the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit (Drs McGee and Silva and Ms Williams), and the Department of Psychological Medicine (Drs Clarkson, Anderson, and Walton), University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; and the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md, and the Department of Psychiatry, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC (Drs Cytryn and McKnew).

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.