Study Sheds Light on Depression Prevalence

by Mallory Carlson ‘19

A study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry showcased surprising statistics about depression in young people. The study consisted of more than 100,000 in-person interviews and it was
concluded that by the time children are 17, 13.6 percent of boys and a shocking 36.1 percent of girls are or at some point, have been depressed. These statistics were much higher than predicted, sounding an
alarm for the need for early diagnosis.

A common belief is that depression in young people, especially
girls, begins around the teen years as social pressure and other various factors build. But the researchers at Translational Psychiatry found reason to believe that is not always the case. They discovered that depression in children often appears or begins as early as age 11. This is an idea that psychologists have only recently begun to accept, as they previously believed that children were too developmentally immature to experience such an adult conflict. Now studies have shown that even
children as young as four or five years old can be depressed, although that is uncommon.