, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 209-226

Self-Reported Depressive Symptoms in a School Sample of Italian Children and Adolescents

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Abstract

This study reports on self-reported depressive symptoms, assessed with the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), in a school sample of 685 Italian students. The participants were 254 males and 431 females, the age range of the subjects was 8 to 17 years (mean age 13.0 ± 2.8 years). The CDI mean score was 10.49 ± 2.76. According to our data, about 10% of the subjects scored higher than the clinical threshold of 20. More than 1/3 of the students reported thoughts of death, but only 2.2% had explicit suicidal ideation. Girls scored higher than boys, and young adolescents (11–13 years) scored lower than pre-pubertal children and older adolescents, and showed fewer thoughts of death. Factorial analysis yielded seven factors, a general factor with no predominant theme, two factors related to academic self-image and body image, and four related to anhedonia-withdrawal, hypocondria-asthenia, irritability-opposition, and loss of appetite.