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Depression in Childhood: Gender and Sex Differences

One of the most robust findings in psychiatric epidemiology is that females are twice as likely to experience depression—a disorder of mood characterized by sadness, anhedonia, or, in children and adolescents, irritability—as males, a disparity that emerges during early adolescence. This entry reviews differences between girls and boys in the prevalence and presentation of depression, identifies mechanisms explaining these differences, and describes the impact of gender and sex (i.e., gender being the characteristics of biological status imposed by a given society and sex being one’s biological status) on prognosis and treatment.

Overview of Gender Differences in Child and Adolescent Depression

Large studies with representative community samples have located the emergence of the gender difference in depression at 13 to 14 years of age, and it occurs whether ...

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