Children and teenagers sometimes experience bouts of helplessness, hopelessness, and despair that are diagnosed as major depression. Researchers have been unable to determine whether depressed youths display an early version of adult depression or a different mood disorder, perhaps stemming from problems such as anxiety, delinquency, and substance abuse.
There does appear to be a strong family connection, however. A new investigation has found that adult depression and the teenage version run in the same families.
In interviews with students at nine high schools in western Oregon, psychologist Peter M. Lewinsohn and his colleagues at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene identified 268 students who had previously experienced episodes of major depression (usually starting at age 13 or 14), 110 who had suffered from anxiety disorders or other psychiatric problems that didn't include depression, and 291 who had never developed any mental disorders. The researchers then i