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Depression scale scores in 8–17‐year‐olds: effects of age and gender

Depression scale scores in 8–17‐year‐olds: effects of age and gender Background: The excess of unipolar depression in females emerges in adolescence. However, studies of age effects on depression scale scores have produced divergent estimates of changes from childhood to adolescence. Method: We explored possible reasons for this discrepancy in two large, longitudinal samples of twins and singletons aged 8–17. Results: There were no differences between twins and singletons in their scores on the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ), a 13‐item self‐report depression scale. SMFQ scores for boys fell over this age‐range, while those for girls fell from age 9 to age 11 and then increased from age 12 to age 17. The mean scores of girls under 12 and those 12 and over differed by only around one‐fifth of a standard deviation. However, given the non‐normal distribution of the scores, a cut point that selected the upper 6% of scores created the expected female:male ratio of 2:1. Conclusions: Implications for future research on adolescent depression are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Wiley

Depression scale scores in 8–17‐year‐olds: effects of age and gender

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References (77)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0021-9630
eISSN
1469-7610
DOI
10.1111/1469-7610.00232
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background: The excess of unipolar depression in females emerges in adolescence. However, studies of age effects on depression scale scores have produced divergent estimates of changes from childhood to adolescence. Method: We explored possible reasons for this discrepancy in two large, longitudinal samples of twins and singletons aged 8–17. Results: There were no differences between twins and singletons in their scores on the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ), a 13‐item self‐report depression scale. SMFQ scores for boys fell over this age‐range, while those for girls fell from age 9 to age 11 and then increased from age 12 to age 17. The mean scores of girls under 12 and those 12 and over differed by only around one‐fifth of a standard deviation. However, given the non‐normal distribution of the scores, a cut point that selected the upper 6% of scores created the expected female:male ratio of 2:1. Conclusions: Implications for future research on adolescent depression are discussed.

Journal

The Journal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2002

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