Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Screening For Childhood Depressive Symptoms Could Start In Second Grade

Date:
July 23, 2009
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
New research indicates that screening children for symptoms of depression, the most common mental health disorder in the United States, can begin a lot earlier than previously thought, as early as the second grade.

New research indicates that screening children for symptoms of depression, the most common mental health disorder in the United States, can begin a lot earlier than previously thought, as early as the second grade.

Related Articles


A University of Washington study that followed nearly 1,000 children from the second to the eighth grades also found five distinct patterns for the way symptoms of depression develop among adolescents.

"Some children are reporting that they don't have as many friends, feel lonelier and are more anxious than their peers," said James Mazza, a UW professor of educational psychology and lead author of the study. "They are telling us that they feel different from the typical happy- go-lucky second grader.

"We can start to build a profile of children's mental health in the second grade. This is important because children who are experiencing depression symptoms early on may be at great risk for mental health concerns during adolescence, based on other research studies. We want to reassure parents that everyone, including children, may feel sad or depressed once in a while, but that doesn't mean they will go on to develop depression. We are trying to understand how depression starts and evolves in childhood so that we can develop interventions to help children," Mazza said.

The new study relied on annual self reports from the children as well as parental and teacher evaluations collected as part of the Raising Healthy Children study, a larger, long-term investigation looking at the development of healthy and problem behaviors among children at 10 suburban schools in the Pacific Northwest. The depression study used data from 511 boys and 440 girls, and 81 percent of the participants were white.

The study identified five patterns of depression symptoms, but 56 percent of the children showed no or very few symptoms of depression in the second grade.

The five patterns of depression symptoms the researchers found and the percentage of students in each group are:

  • Low stables – 26 percent. These children showed none or very few signs of depression in the second grade and their rates didn't change over time through the eighth grade.
  • Low risers – 30 percent. Children in this group also had no or few symptoms in the second grade, but the number went up by a small amount in subsequent years.
  • Mild stables – 24 percent. This group had few symptoms and then went up by a small amount in subsequent years.
  • Moderate changers – 11 percent. These children started out with a few more symptoms than the previous group and their number of symptoms rose through elementary school and then dropped in middle school.
  • Moderate risers – 9 percent. This group started off with a similar number of symptoms as the moderate changers, however their symptoms did not decrease in middle school.

The study identified different early depression risk factors for boys and girls. For boys, behavior and attention problems predicted membership in the different depression groups. For girls anxiety was an early risk factor. The research also reaffirmed previous findings showing gender differences in underlying depressive symptoms, with girls experiencing more symptoms than boys in the eighth grade

"Our children are our best resource in knowing what they are feeling inside. But it is also important to have multiple perspectives. Collecting assessments from parents, teachers and the child to identify children at early risk for depression is a good method for spotting those who may go on to have later mental health risks," Mazza said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the study, which was published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Co-authors are Charles Fleming, Kevin Haggerty and Richard Catalano of the UW's Social Development Research Group, a part of the School of Social Work, and Robert Abbott, of educational psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Screening For Childhood Depressive Symptoms Could Start In Second Grade." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721135604.htm>.
University of Washington. (2009, July 23). Screening For Childhood Depressive Symptoms Could Start In Second Grade. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721135604.htm
University of Washington. "Screening For Childhood Depressive Symptoms Could Start In Second Grade." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721135604.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins