Depression is a common and recurrent psychological disorder that elicits distress and impairment across multiple life domains (e.g., individual well-being, family relationships and friendships, school, employment) throughout the life span. Although the prevalence of depression is relatively low during childhood, adolescence marks a developmental stage during which rates increase dramatically, particularly for girls. This shift sets the stage for a life-long preponderance of depression in women relative to men. Given that prior depression is a robust predictor of subsequent episodes, with chronicity and recurrence the norm, understanding the nature and measurement of depression, the factors that contribute to depression onset and continuity, and methods of intervention has implications for the prevention of this injurious disorder across the life cycle. Accordingly, this entry provides an overview ...

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