Depressive symptoms in adolescence as predictors of early adulthood depressive disorders and maladjustment

Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Jul;159(7):1235-7. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.159.7.1235.


Objective: The authors examined the association between self-reported depressive symptoms in adolescence and mental well-being in early adulthood.

Method: A questionnaire assessing psychosocial well-being was given to a group of subjects (N=651) in their last 3 years of high school (mean age=16.8 years) and again when these subjects reached early adulthood (mean age=21.8 years). Diagnostic interview data were obtained from a subgroup of the young adults (N=245). Adolescents' depressive symptoms were analyzed in relation to their early adulthood mental health outcome data.

Results: Depressive symptoms in adolescence predicted early adulthood depressive disorders (major depression and dysthymia), comorbidity, psychosocial impairment, and problem drinking.

Conclusions: Depressive symptoms in adolescence deserve attention as a potential risk for early adulthood mental disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Dysthymic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Dysthymic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors