Understanding Depression in Children and Adolescents: Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions
Documented as the leading cause of disability among adolescents and adults (World Health Organization), depression typically originates in childhood or adolescence, with early recognition and treatment of symptoms critical to the reduction of later impairment from this disorder (Costello et al., 2002). Adolescents are at the greatest risk for depression, with community prevalence rates ranging from 2.9% to 8%, and as many as 25% of youth meeting criteria for a diagnosis of major depression by late adolescence (Kashani, Reid, & Rosenberg, 1989; Lewinsohn, Hops, Roberts, Seeley, & Andrews, 1993). Although preadolescent children are less likely to be diagnosed with depression, children as young as 4 years of age exhibit symptoms of depression. Children and adolescents who are depressed are at increased risk for continued depression occurring into adolescence and adulthood (Costello et al., 2002; Lewinsohn, Solomon, Seeley, & Zeiss, 2000). Given that depression in youth is linked to impairments in multiple areas (e.g., academic performance, family and peer relationships) as well as with long-term health consequences (e.g., substance abuse and suicide), it is imperative that interventions occur within the school setting.