, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 301-307

Incidence of depression in early adolescence: A preliminary study

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Abstract

The authors wished to determine whether depression was present in an early adolescent nonpatient identified school population. Questionnaires were administered to seventh and eighth grade students in a parochial extended elementary school. The findings indicated that 33.3% of this school population were experiencing moderate to severe depression and 35% of the sample acknowledged current suicidal ideation. A comparison of mean scores showed a trend toward more depressive symptomatology in the eighth grade, possibly indicating a developmental critical period. A correlation of individual scores and teacher ratings suggests that teacher evaluation may have some direct effect on the student's emotional health. The authors make specific suggestions for promoting improved mental health in a school setting.

This research was supported in part by Grant MH 19989 from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Received her M.A. from Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1974. Main interests include developmental guidance in schools, family therapy, and career guidance for women in transition.
Received his M.D. from Yale University in 1946 and completed specialty training in psychiatry at the Austen Riggs Center in 1952. Main interests include depression, cognition, and psychotherapy.