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174. Sociodemographic Correlates of Childhood and Adolescent Depression
Depression among children and adolescents is a significant health problem that causes marked distress, functional impairment and may even lead to suicide. However, the exact correlates of childhood and adolescent depression remain largely unknown. To investigate potentially relevant factors and identify at-risk groups, we analyzed demographic correlates of depressive symptoms in a community-ascertained sample of volunteers between ages 7 and 17 (N=550, of which 239 were females) drawn from the Nathan Kline Institute-Rockland Sample. Depression severity was measured using the self-report Children’s Depression Inventory 2 (CDI-2). Using multiple regression, we found a significant interaction of age x gender on depression severity (R2change=.035, F(1,544)=20.054, p<.001). Specifically, in the 7-10 age group, boys reported significantly more depressive symptoms than girls (CDI-2 score= 10.2±8.1 vs. 6.5±5.4, p=.0001). However, a shift occurs at age 11, coinciding approximately with the onset of puberty in girls. Girls reported significantly more depressive symptoms than boys in the 11-13 (7.4±6.8 vs. 5.5±4.7, p=.032) and 14-17 (8.9±6.5 vs. 6.7±5.6, p=.023) age groups. These findings suggest that clinicians may need to approach the risk of depression differentially in younger children, when boys may have a higher risk, compared to pre-teens, when the risk is higher in girls.