Depression in Childhood: Social Factors

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, or, in children and adolescents, irritability. Youth with depression often have pronounced difficulty in their interpersonal relationships. Research with clinic and community samples has demonstrated that children and adolescents diagnosed with a major depressive episode or experiencing high levels of depressive symptoms have poorer relationships with their parents, marked by greater conflict and tension and decreased warmth, than do children without depression. Depression is also associated with difficulty developing and maintaining good relationships with peers. Research in this area has typically been conducted with community samples so that investigators can recruit whole schools, which provide the opportunity to obtain information about youth’s interpersonal functioning from their classmates. These investigations, which typically conceptualize ...

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