Depression in a sample of 9-year-old children, Prevalence and associated characteristics

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983 Nov;40(11):1217-23. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790100063009.


We investigated the prevalence of depression in a sample of 9-year-old children from the general population being studied longitudinally. Current point prevalences of major and minor depressive disorder were estimated at 1.8% and 2.5%, respectively. A comparison of children with depression and a nondepressed group disclosed no significant differences by sex, nor any significant association between depression and socioeconomic status, teacher reports of behavior problems, and cognitive or motor development. The children with current depression were reported by a parent to have had a history of more behavioral problems, had been referred more often for assessment or treatment of behavioral or emotional problems, and had more negative self-perceptions of their academic ability. The results suggested that parents may be more sensitive than teachers to the behavior problems exhibited by depressed children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Affective Symptoms / complications
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / complications
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Parents / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychological Tests
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Teaching