Puberty and depression

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2006 Oct;15(4):919-37, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2006.05.013.


Unipolar depression only becomes more common in girls than boys after the age of 13, as a result of an increased incidence of depressive episodes in girls at that time. This article reviews evidence that links multiple dimensions of maturation in the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis with this phenomenon. Effects of developmental status and timing have been implicated, but few studies have deployed either the measurement strategies or the statistical power needed to provide a satisfactory answer to the question regarding which components of puberty are most responsible.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Androgens / metabolism
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Puberty / physiology
  • Puberty / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Androgens
  • Gonadotropins
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone