Published: March 15th, 2013in the Journal of Adolescent Health
Little attention has been paid to the sociodemographic profiles of depressed youth during the vulnerable transition from adolescence to early adulthood. This study aimed to determine and describe the social, demographic, and health outcomes of adolescent depression during a 10-year period of transition into early adulthood, using a population-based cohort of Canadian teenagers.
Depression status on 1,027 adolescents aged 16–17 years was ascertained from the National Population Health Survey. Social and health outcomes (i.e., employment status, marital status, personal income, education, social support, self-perceived stress, heavy drinking, smoking, migraine headaches, adult depression, antidepressant use, self-rated health, and physical activity) were measured every 2 years until the ages of 26–27 years. Logistic regression was combined with a generalized linear mixed-model approach to determine the odds of health and social outcomes in depressed versus nondepressed adolescents.
Proximal effects of adolescent depression were observed (at ages 18–19) on all outcomes with the exception of physical activity. Significant effects that persisted after 10 years included depression recurrence, higher severity of symptoms, migraine headaches, poor self-rated health, and low levels of social support. Adolescent depression did not appear to significantly affect employment status, personal income, marital status, or educational attainment.
The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a particularly vulnerable period due to educational, employment, and social changes that may be occurring. The results of this study indicate that the onset of depression during adolescence may be indicative of problems of adaptation that persist at least a decade into early adulthood."
-from the abstract