Depression in Childhood: Biological Factors

Data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement revealed that depression is highly prevalent in childhood and adolescence, with rates in epidemiologic studies reaching 11.7% (including both major depressive and dysthymic disorders). Understanding child and adolescent (hereafter referred to as child) depression involves biological, social, and psychological functioning; thus, attention to each of these domains is warranted. There have been many candidate biological causes and correlates proposed and examined in relation to child depression, including behavioral and molecular genetics, structural neuroanatomy, brain function, stress responsivity, and immune and inflammation response. These domains of biological function have been used to characterize and understand behaviors in children with depression.


There have been numerous studies examining aggregation and/or transmission of depressive disorders within families. These studies have consistently ...

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