Anti-social behaviour among girls triggers depression in adolescenceFebruary 18th, 2009 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 18 (IANS) Anti-social behaviour among girls and anxiety among both boys and girls of first and second grade brought on depression in early adolescence.
“Anti-social behaviour has typically been viewed as a big problem among boys, so it tends to be ignored among girls, said James Mazza, University of Washington (UW) professor of educational psychology and co-author of the new study.
“Boys with early anti-social behaviour typically go on to show more anti-social behaviour while girls may turn inward with symptoms, morphing into other mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety and suicidal behaviour during adolescence,” he said.
“When all the risk factors were analysed, anti-social behaviour and anxiety were the most predictive of later depression. It just may be that they are more prevalent in the early elementary school years than depression.” He noted that depression and anxiety share a number of symptoms.
Mazza said that early adolescence is when the first episode of depression typically occurs and that’s when it has been noted that gender difference occur, with more girls than boys experiencing depressive symptoms.
Children can be assessed at six and seven years of age, but depression is not often recognised or diagnosed until the middle school years.
The project was conducted by the UV Social Development Research Group, with which Mazza is affiliated. More than 800 children participated in the depression study. Eighty-one percent were white and 54 percent were boys, said a UW release.
The research was published in the online edition of The Journal of Early Adolescence.
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