Depression and anxiety affect up to 15 percent of preschoolers

Aug 28, 2009

Almost 15 percent of preschoolers have atypically high levels of depression and anxiety, according to a new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The five-year investigation also found that children with atypically high depression and anxiety levels are more likely to have mothers with a history of depression.

The study was conducted in Canada by an international team of researchers from the Université de Montréal, the Université Laval and McGill University, as well as Inserm (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) in France, Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. and University College Dublin in Ireland.

"As early as the first year of life, there are indications that some have more risks than others to develop high levels of and anxiety," says first author Sylvana M. Côté, a professor at the Université de Montréal's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine. "Difficult temperament at five months was the most important predictor of depression and anxiety in the children."

As part of the investigation, the scientists annually evaluated a representative sample of pre-schoolers from five months to five years of age. All 1,758 children were born in Québec and mothers provided information during extensive interviews on behaviour and family members.

"We found that lifetime maternal depression was the second most important predictor of atypically high depressive and anxiety problems during preschool years," stresses Dr. Côté. "Our study is the first to show that infant temperament and lifetime maternal depression can lead to a high trajectory of depressive and anxiety problems before school entry."

"It is critical that preventive interventions be experimented with infants who risk developing depressive and anxiety disorders," adds Dr. Côté. "Health professionals should target such high risk children at infancy, as well as their parents, to have a long-term impact on their well-being."

More information: The article, "Depression and symptoms: onset, developmental course and risk factors during early childhood," is published in the . http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0021-9630

Source: University of Montreal (news : web)

Explore further: Immersed in violence: How 3-D gaming affects video game players

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Growing years cut short for toddlers from poor families

Jan 21, 2009

Continuous poverty during toddler years can curb the height of children by the time they reach kindergarten, even in industrialized countries, according to new research from the Université de Montréal. Regardless ...

Energy drinks: The coffee of a new generation?

Feb 06, 2009

It's not uncommon for students to consume energy drinks to increase their concentration as they study throughout the night. "Energy drinks are the coffee of a new generation," says Stéphanie Côté, nutritionist ...

Smoking during pregnancy fosters aggression in children

Jan 06, 2009

Women who smoke during pregnancy risk delivering aggressive kids according to a new Canada-Netherlands study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology. While previous studies have shown that smoking during ...

Ovary removal may increase lung cancer risk

Jul 21, 2009

Women who have premature menopause because of medical interventions are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer. The startling link was ma ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CorneliusK
not rated yet Sep 01, 2009
It might be suggested that adolescent psychology is nearly non-existent, because a person requires a functioning mind in order for the term "psychology" to apply. However, Dr. Phil types and Big Pharma have stuff to sell – so there develops the industry of adolescent psychology. Recently, studies were published that purports depression in preschool students. That's right – preschool students are depressed. (If Spongebob and Shrek are persons' biggest role model and life revolves around where their Hot Wheels are at…Freud does not apply.) There are already child safe doses of depression medications and Ritalin – perhaps it's unhealthy for adolescent psychology for parents to spend an installment loan on anti-depressants for children, as they are bad enough for adults.
See more details of Preschool Depression at: http://personalmo...chology/
CorneliusK
not rated yet Sep 01, 2009
thanks...