Background: Depression in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse consequences. The aim of the present study is to identify target groups at increased risk of developing depression in early adolescence, such that prevention is associated with the largest health benefit at population-level for the least effort. Methods: The analyses were conducted on data of the first (age range 10-12) and fourth (age range 17-20) wave of a population-based cohort study (N=1,538). The Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was used to assess onset of major depression in early adolescence. High-risk groups were identified using exposure rate, incidence rate, and population attributable fraction. Results: Prevention of depression onset in early adolescence is best targeted at children with one of the following risk profiles: a high body mass index in combination with (1) maternal depression (2) female gender, and (3) parental emotional rejection. Limitations: Age of onset of depression was assessed retrospectively. Conclusions: Only a few risk indicators are needed to identify a relatively small group which accounts for a substantial percentage of the new cases of depression in early adolescence.
Purpose: Low levels of physical activity have been shown to be associated with depression in adults. The few studies that focused on adolescents yielded mixed and inconsistent results. Efforts to examine the direction of this relationship have been inconclusive up to now. The aims of this study were therefore to investigate (1) the direction of the inverse association between physical activity and depressive symptoms over time and (2) whether these associations are specific to particular clusters of depressive symptoms in adolescents. Methods: Depressive symptoms and physical activity were assessed in a population sample of adolescents (N=2230), who were measured at three waves between age 10 and age 17. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Affective Problems scale of the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), while physical activity was operationalized as the amount of time spent on physical exercise. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine bidirectional effects of physical activity and depressive symptoms over time. Results: We found significant cross-lagged paths from prior physical activity to later depression as well as from prior depression to later physical activity (beta values= -.039 to -.047). After subdividing depression into affective and somatic symptoms, the affective symptoms were reciprocally related to physical activity, while the paths between somatic symptoms and physical activity did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: An inverse bidirectional association between physical activity and general depressive symptoms was observed. This association was restricted to affective symptoms.
Background. Postpartum depression (PPD) follows 5-15% of the life births and forms a major threat to the child's mental health and psychosocial development. However, the nature, continuance, and mediators of the association of postpartum depression (PPD) with the child's mental health are not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an association between PPD and adolescent mental problems is explained by parental psychopathology and whether the association shows specificity to the internalizing or externalizing domain. Methods. 2729 adolescents aged 10-15 years from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Life Survey (TRAILS) were included. Both PPD and parental lifetime history of psychopathology were assessed by parent report. Adolescents' psychopathology was assessed using the Achenbach scales (parent, teacher and self report). Linear regression was used to examine the association between PPD and adolescent mental health. Results. We found a statistically significant association of adolescents' internalizing problems with maternal PPD, which remained when adjusted for parental psychopathology. We found no association for externalizing problems. Limitations. Underreporting of both PPD and lifetime parental psychopathology may have occurred due to their retrospective assessment. Conclusions. The association of PPD with internalizing but not externalizing problems extends into adolescence. Parental psychopathology does not explain this association suggesting a direct psychological effect on the child postpartum. If this effect appears causal, early treatment of parental psychopathology may prevent internalizing psychopathology in the offspring, ultimately in adolescence.
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The present study examines the relationship between neurocognitive functioning and affective problems through adolescence, in a cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective. Baseline response speed, response speed variability, response inhibition, attentional flexibility and working memory were assessed in a cohort of 2,179 adolescents (age 10-12 years) from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). Affective problems were measured with the DSM-oriented Affective Problems scale of the Youth Self Report at wave 1 (baseline assessment), wave 2 (after 2.5 years) and wave 3 (after 5 years). Cross-sectionally, baseline response speed, response time variability, response inhibition and working memory were associated with baseline affective problems in girls, but not in boys. Longitudinally, enhanced response time variability predicted affective problems after 2.5 and 5 years in girls, but not in boys. Decreased response inhibition predicted affective problems after 5 years follow-up in girls, and again not in boys. The results are discussed in light of recent insights in gender differences in adolescence and state-trait issues in depression.