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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 98, Issue 4, pp 326–330 | Cite as

Depressive Disorders Among Young Canadians

Associated Factors of Continuity and Discontinuity
  • Cat Tuong Nguyen
  • Louise Fournier
Article

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to compare potential risk factors of depressive disorders among young Canadians (aged 15–24) to those of older age groups (25–34 and 35–44) and examine the contribution of individual and contextual factors in the continuity and discontinuity of depression.

Methods

Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey–Cycle 1.2 were analyzed to examine the associations between individual, familial, social and environmental factors and the continuity or discontinuity of depressive disorders among young Canadians. The sample consisted of 5,673 Canadians aged 15–24, 5,830 aged 25–34 and 7,830 aged 35–44. Youths were also categorized according to the type of cases: non-case, new case, case in remission or long-lasting case.

Results

Among Canadian youth, 10.2% had suffered from depression during their lifetime. Social support was the only factor distinguishing the youngest age group from the others regarding depression. Compared to older age groups, stress levels were notably higher for young people. The combination of social network, social support and stress levels strongly distinguished between the long-term cases and the non-cases among youths. Weak feeling of community cohesion was also related to new cases of depression and could contribute to their beginnings.

Conclusions

Potential targets for preventive measures lie in the contextual and social influences of youth; particularly what impacts stress levels, social support and social networks. Studying processes of continuity and discontinuity contribute to identifying distinct profiles of onset, recurrence or remission of depression that may point to avenues for prevention and early intervention.

MeSH terms

Epidemiology depressive disorders youth 

Résumé

Objectif

L’objectif de cette étude était de comparer les facteurs de risque potentiels de troubles dépressifs chez les jeunes Canadiens (âgé de 15 à 24 ans) par rapport à des personnes plus âgées (25 à 34 ans et 35 à 44 ans), et d’examiner la façon dont les facteurs individuels et contextuels contribuent à la persistance du trouble dépressif et à sa disparition.

Méthodologie

Les données tirées de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes–cycle 1.2 ont été analysées en vue d’étudier les liens entre les facteurs individuels, familiaux, sociaux et environnementaux et la persistance des troubles dépressifs et leur disparition chez les jeunes Canadiens. L’échantillon était composé de 5 673 Canadiens âgés de 15 à 24 ans, de 5 830 Canadiens âgés de 25 à 34 ans, et de 7 830 Canadiens âgés de 35 à 44 ans. Les jeunes étaient également classés selon le type de cas: non atteint, nouveau cas, cas en rémission ou cas prolongé.

Résultats

Parmi les jeunes Canadiens, 10,2 % ont été atteints de dépression au cours de leur vie. Le soutien social était le seul facteur distinguant le groupe des plus jeunes des autres en ce qui concerne la dépression. Par rapport aux groupes des plus âgés, les niveaux de stress étaient considérablement plus élevés chez les jeunes. La combinaison du réseau social, du soutien social et des niveaux de stress constitue un facteur de distinction marqué entre les cas prolongés et les personnes non atteintes au sein du groupe des jeunes. Les nouveaux cas de dépression étaient également associés à un faible sentiment de cohésion communautaire, lequel pourrait contribuer à l’apparition de ce trouble.

Conclusions

Les cibles potentielles pour des mesures préventives reposent sur les influences contextuelles et sociales des jeunes, particulièrement les facteurs qui influent sur les niveaux de stress, le soutien social et les réseaux sociaux. L’étude des processus de persistance et de disparition des troubles dépressifs contribue à définir les profils distincts d’apparition, de récurrence ou de rémission de la dépression susceptibles d’orienter les mesures de prévention et d’intervention précoce.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of Montreal, Groupe de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Santé, Institut national de santé publiqueMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Institut National de SantéPublique du QuébecMontrealCanada

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