Childhood depressive symptoms predict psychiatric problems in young adults

Can J Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;45(5):465-70. doi: 10.1177/070674370004500507.


Objective: To evaluate the predictive value of childhood depressive symptoms for psychiatric symptoms, adaptive functioning, and self-performance in young adults.

Method: The study sample consisted of 111 young adults born during 1975-1976 in the Helsinki region. The young adults were assessed in childhood (10 to 11 years of age) using the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) and at the age of 20 to 21 years using Achenbach's Young Adult Self Report (YASR), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Wallston Self-Performance Survey.

Results: Self-reported depressive symptoms in childhood predicted psychiatric symptoms (especially aggression), poor adaptive functioning, and low self-esteem in young adulthood.

Conclusions: Depressive symptoms in children should be addressed to prevent later psychiatric problems. The CDI may be a measure of nonspecific psychopathology rather than of pure depression--thus, it may be a good screening tool for child populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Self Concept