Prevalence of Childhood Affective disorders in Turkey: An epidemiological study

J Affect Disord. 2018 Oct 1;238:513-521. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.014. Epub 2018 May 30.


Aim: To determine the prevalence of affective disorders in Turkey among a representative sample of Turkish population.

Methods: This study was conducted as a part of the "The Epidemiology of Childhood Psychopathology in Turkey" (EPICPAT-T) Study, which was designed by the Turkish Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. The inclusion criterion was being a student between the second and fourth grades in the schools assigned as study centers. The assessment tools used were the K-SADS-PL, and a sociodemographic form that was designed by the authors. Impairment was assessed via a 3 point-Likert type scale independently rated by a parent and a teacher.

Results: A total of 5842 participants were included in the analyses. The prevalence of affective disorders was 2.5 % without considering impairment and 1.6 % when impairment was taken into account. In our sample, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder was lacking, thus depressive disorders constituted all the cases. Among depressive disorders with impairment, major depressive disorder (MDD) (prevalence of 1.06%) was the most common, followed by dysthymia (prevalence of 0.2%), adjustment disorder with depressive features (prevalence of 0.17%), and depressive disorder-NOS (prevalence of 0.14%). There were no statistically significant gender differences for depression. Maternal psychopathology and paternal physical illness were predictors of affective disorders with pervasive impairment.

Conclusion: MDD was the most common depressive disorder among Turkish children in this nationwide epidemiological study. This highlights the severe nature of depression and the importance of early interventions. Populations with maternal psychopathology and paternal physical illness may be the most appropriate targets for interventions to prevent and treat depression in children and adolescents.

Keywords: Affective disorders; Depressive disorder; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Turkey.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Dysthymic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Turkey / epidemiology