Age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and birth cohort differences on the children's depression inventory: a meta-analysis

J Abnorm Psychol. 2002 Nov;111(4):578-88. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.111.4.578.


A within-scale meta-analysis was performed on 310 samples of children (ages 8-16; N = 61,424) responding to the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). Girls' depression scores stayed steady from ages 8 to 11 and then increased between ages 12 and 16. Boys' CDI scores were stable from ages 8 to 16 except for a high CDI score at age 12. Girls' scores were slightly lower than boys' during childhood, but girls scored higher beginning at age 13. There were no socioeconomic status effects and no differences between White and Black samples. However, Hispanic samples scored significantly higher on the CDI. Analyses for birth cohort showed a slight decrease in boys' CDI scores over time and no change for girls. Longitudinal studies demonstrated a marked testing effect.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Ethnicity / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class*