Depression is a big thing in todays
world and is even considered a type of mental illness. Everyone probably has at least one friend they
can think of that struggles with depression. The minute the doctor tells you
that you are struggling with depression it’s instant medication for you. It is
truly sad how many people are struggling with this mental illness. But some are
able to lift the veil and live a great life. But what most people don’t realize though is
that depression can start as early as childhood. This study the authors wanted
to see where it began and just how far can it go into adolescence.
There is a great number of children that
are experiencing depression and that number keeps on rising every year. The
main focus the authors wanted to look at was the understanding of how children
are developing depression and to see how much genetics and the environment
comes into play. Depression shows up full force between the ages of 13 to 18.
What you might notice is that usually around the age of 13 the majority of the
kids are hitting puberty and that can have a great impact on their social life
as well. This also shows that young girls have a high rate of depression compared
to boys. All of this in turn left the authors wanting to look at the factors in
play when it came to gender and depression. Also, how did the children’s peer
group contribute to their depression. Lastly, the authors wanted to see how
genetics effected the older adolescents who were having a huge amount of peer
stress. The authors believed that the kids experiencing a higher amount of stress
would more likely have depression.
The researchers found 665 participants
that were able to meet all of the requirements of the study. The age range of
the 665 participants were between 7-16 years old and split up between three
different age groups. To be able to find out everything they needed to know
about the participant’s state of depression was going to be done through a
diagnostic interview that was conducted by graduate students from either the
University of Denver or Rutgers University. To find how predictive the participant’s
state of depression would be required over a three year follow up, allowing the
researchers to look at the rate of how peer stress effected the participants.
results showed that at least 20% had been diagnosed in the past with
depression. When splitting it up by gender, it was found that 16% of boys have experienced
depression, while 23% of girls experienced depression. When splitting up by grades the percentages
were very interesting. When it came down to the kids who have a had a past
experience with depression, it showed that at least 10% of third graders, 16%
of sixth graders, and at least 33% of ninth graders had all experience
depression before (Hankin & Young, et al.). After a year of the study being
conducted it was noted that still 2.7% of 8 to 15 year olds experience
depression and 7.5% of 13 to18 year olds experience depression as well (Avenevoli
et al., 2015). Puberty also played a role when it came to depression. Kids that
were going through puberty showed a higher depression rate, even after puberty
was done the majority of girls would still have a high amount of depression
(Hankin & Young et al.).
In conclusion, everything the researcher’s
hypotheses was on point. Everything seemed to look a lot alike with past
studies. Though the percentages of the kids experiencing depression have made a
huge jump from 5% all the way up to 20% now.
I was shocked with how many children and
adolescence go through depression. I had no idea that it has effected so many.
Even the percentage that was diagnosed by a doctor was high. The findings were
very eye opening to a serious problem in todays world. Imagine how high the percentages would be if all
of the children of the world were in this study. It would be a scary number,