Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 91–103 | Cite as

Depressive symptoms in Swedish adolescents

  • Bo Larsson
  • Lennart Melin


This study examined the prevalence of self-reported depressive symptoms in a Swedish urban school sample (n=547) aged 13 to 18 years using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The data obtained were examined with respect to sex and age differences and compared with a clinical sample of adolescents hospitalized because of psychiatric disturbances. The results indicated a strong preponderance of depressive symptoms among girls in the school sample, in particular for the severe symptom level. Eight percent of subjects reported depressive symptoms sufficiently high to be classified as a moderate, and 2% as a severe, level of depression. Factor analysis yielded four factors representing dysphoric mood, social activity, relationship, and food-related dimensions. The BDI showed a high internal consistency, and test-retest reliability calculated for a 2-week and a 2-month interval revealed strong correlations. The means of total scores on the BDI for the clinical sample were significantly higher than for those in the school sample.


Depressive Symptom Internal Consistency Strong Correlation Severe Symptom Social Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Larsson
    • 2
  • Lennart Melin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Child and Youth PsychiatryUppsala University HospitalUppsalaSweden

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