Social psychiatry

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 20–28

The prevalence of depressive symptoms in college students

  • Victoria E. Wells
  • Gerald L. Klerman
  • Eva Y. Deykin

DOI: 10.1007/BF00583616

Cite this article as:
Wells, V.E., Klerman, G.L. & Deykin, E.Y. Soc Psychiatry (1987) 22: 20. doi:10.1007/BF00583616


The prevalence and manifestations of depressive symptomatology in a sample of 424 adolescents, aged 16–19, were assessed by means of the CES-D, a widely used screening instrument. The results were compared to those reported for adults. The pattern of symptoms was also assessed for study subjects who did and did not meet criteria for depressive symptoms. The overall prevalence of depressive symptoms was 33% based on the standard criterion, but fell to 16% and 2% when more stringent criteria for symptom duration were applied. The composition of depressive symptoms was similar for adolescents and adults with some exceptions possibly related to age and role specific demands.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria E. Wells
    • 1
  • Gerald L. Klerman
    • 2
  • Eva Y. Deykin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryCornell Medical Center, Payne Whitney Psychiatric ClinicNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Maternal and Child HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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