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Family and twin studies suggest that early-onset and later-onset major depressive disorder (MDD) may have distinct etiologies and correlates. In a prospective study of a birth cohort followed until age 26 years, Jaffee et al Article found that those whose MDD onset was in childhood (before age 15 years) experienced higher levels of early childhood psychosocial risks compared with those whose MDD onset was in adulthood(ages 18-26 years), including perinatal insults and motor skills deficits, caretaker instability, and psychopathology in their family of origin, and behavioral and socioemotional problems. Those with adult-onset MDD experienced similarly low levels of risk as the never-depressed group (with the exception of elevated childhood sexual abuse).
This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59(3):211. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.59.3.211
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