European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 146–155 | Cite as

Sex differences in the manifestations of depression in young people. A study of French high school students. Part II: Correlates and background factors

  • D. Bailly
  • R. Beuscart
  • C. Collinet
  • J. Y. Alexandre
  • Ph. J. Parquet
Article

Abstract

The second part of this study investigates the correlates and background factors of major depression in young people. The study sample consisted of 744 high school students, (439 males and 305 females), aged 14 to 23 years, and attending 15 high schools in the North of France. Among them, 32 (18 males and 14 females) had a major depressive episode according to DSM-III-R criteria. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire devised for the study in order to investigate sociodemographic, behavioral, medical and environmental factors associated with depression. Antisocial behavior, more frequently found in males, was the only factor significantly differentiating male from female depressed students. On the other hand, school difficulties, health problems, impairments in interpersonal relationships and family history disorders were most often found significantly associated with major depression in males but not in females. According to these findings, the authors examine the concept of “masked depression” and advance some hypotheses about the reasons why major depression in young people is so often underdiagnosed.

Keywords

Major Depression High School Student Depressive Episode Major Depressive Episode Background Factor 

Resumé

La 2ème partie de cette étude recherche les corrélations et les facteurs d'environment de la dépression majeure chez les jeunes. L'échantillon de l'étude consiste en 744 étudiants du niveau secondaire ou études supérieures (439 garçons et 309 femmes) âgés de 14 à 23 ans et scolarisés dans le Nord de la France.

Parmi eux, 32 (18 garçons et 14 filles) avaient un épisode de dépression majeure selon les critères du DSM III R. Les faits ont été collectés au moyen d'un questionnaire divisé pour l'étude de façcon à rechercher les facteurs socio-démographiques, comportementaux, médicaux et environnementaux associés à la dépression. Le comportement anti-social, plus fréquemment retrouvé chez les garçons, était le seul facteur différenciant significativement les filles et les garçons déprimés. D'un autre côté, les difficultés scolaires, les problèmes de santé, les difficultés dans les relations inter-personnelles et l'histoire familiale des troubles étaient retrouvées significativement plus souvent associées avec la dépression majeure chez les garçons mais pas chez les filles. A la suite de ces résultats, les auteurs examinent le concept de “dépression masquée” et avancent quelques hypothèses sur les raisons qui font que la dépression majeure chez les jeunes est le plus souvent un diagnostic sour évalué.

Zusammenfassung

Im zweiten Teil der Studie werden die korrelate und Hintergrundaspekte einer schweren Depression im Jugendalter untersucht. Die Stichprobe umfaßte 744 Oberschüler (439 männlich, 305 weiblich) im Alter von 14–23 Jahren, die 15 Oberschulen in Nordfrankreich besuchten. 32 Schüler (18 männlich, 14 weiblich) hatten eine schwere depressive Episode nach den DSM-III-R-Kriterien. Die Daten wurden mittels eines speziell für die Untersuchung angefertigten Fragenbogens erhoben, um soziodemographische und medizinische Faktoren ebenso wie Verhaltensaspekte und Umweltfaktoren zu untersuchen, die mit einer Depression assoziiert sind. Als einziger Faktor trennte antisoziales Verhalten, das häufiger bei Männem gefunden wurde, signifikant zwischen depressiven Männern und Frauen. Andererseits waren Schulschwierigkeiten, gesundheitliche Probleme, Störungen der interpersonalen Beziehungen und Störungen in der Familie signifikant gehäuft bei Männern aber nicht bei Frauen, mit einer schweren Depression assoziiert. In Anbetracht dieser Ergebnisse gehen die Autoren auf das Konzept der larvierten Depression ein und stellen einige Hypothesen vor, die erklären könnten, warum schwere Depressionen bei Jugendlichen zu selten diagnostiziert werden.

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Copyright information

© Hogrefe & Huber Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Bailly
    • 1
  • R. Beuscart
    • 2
  • C. Collinet
    • 3
  • J. Y. Alexandre
    • 4
  • Ph. J. Parquet
    • 1
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry DepartmentUniversity Hospital, USN BLilleFrance
  2. 2.Informatics Department, Medical SchoolLilleFrance
  3. 3.Department of School HealthEducational District of LilleLilleFrance
  4. 4.Psychiatry DepartmentHospital of LommeletSaint AndreFrance

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