Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preschool Depression May Continue Into Childhood

Date:
August 4, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Depression among preschoolers appears to be a continuous, chronic condition rather than a transient developmental stage, according to a new report.

Depression among preschoolers appears to be a continuous, chronic condition rather than a transient developmental stage, according to a report in the August issue of

Related Articles


Archives of General Psychiatry.

"The validity of major depressive disorder in childhood has been well established, with the disorder now widely recognized and treated in mental health settings," the authors write as background information in the article. However, previous studies have primarily focused on children age 6 and older. Although a growing body of data suggests that depression does exist among preschoolers, skepticism remains about whether it is clinically meaningful or increases the later risk of psychiatric conditions.

Joan L. Luby, M.D., and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied 306 preschoolers age 3 to 6. Of these, 75 met criteria for major depressive disorder, 79 had anxiety or disruptive disorders but not depression and 146 did not meet criteria for any psychiatric disorder. A comprehensive three- to four-hour laboratory assessment was completed at the beginning of the study. While children completed measures of emotional, cognitive and social development, primary caregivers were interviewed separately about the preschoolers' psychiatric symptoms and developmental skills. Similar developmental and behavioral assessments were conducted 12 and 24 months later.

"Preschoolers with depression at baseline had the highest likelihood of subsequent depression 12 and/or 24 months later compared with preschoolers with no baseline disorder and with those who had other psychiatric disorders," the authors write. After controlling for other demographic variables and risk factors, preschoolers with depression at the beginning of the study had a four times greater likelihood of having depression one and two years later than preschoolers without depression.

The condition also showed a chronic and recurrent course among preschoolers—in a subset of 119 preschoolers with depression or depressive symptoms who were screened by phone at six and 18 months, 57 percent of those with depression had an episode during at least two follow-up points during study and 18 percent followed a chronic course, defined as having an episode in at least four waves of the study.

"These results underscore the clinical and public health importance of identification of depression as early as preschool," the authors conclude. Early intervention during the preschool period has proved effective in other childhood disorders, they note. "Therefore, study findings that demonstrate longitudinal stability and homotypic continuity of preschool major depressive disorder suggest that earlier interventions for major depressive disorder during the preschool period may be an important area for investigation in the search for more effective treatments for childhood major depressive disorder."

Funding for this study was provided by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Luby et al. Preschool Depression: Homotypic Continuity and Course Over 24 Months. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2009; 66 (8): 897 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.97

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Preschool Depression May Continue Into Childhood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803173119.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, August 4). Preschool Depression May Continue Into Childhood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803173119.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Preschool Depression May Continue Into Childhood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803173119.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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