Depressive disorder in children and adolescents

Gabriele Masi, Letizia Favilla, Maria Mucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Depression is a relatively common health issue in children and adolescents. Different pathogenetic factors are implied: genetic, biological, psychological and environmental. The core symptoms of depression are the same for children, adolescents and adults but the prominence of characteristic symptoms changes with age. The clinical picture of depression according to age level is described in different types of mood disorders (major depressive disorder, dysthymia, bipolar disorder) and in mental retardation. Over half of the youths with depression have comorbid conditions: anxiety disorders, other mood disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorders. Different factors affect the natural course and risk of suicide. Assessment procedures of depression and comorbid conditions include a psychiatric evaluation of the depressed subject and his family, structured interviews and specific rating scales. A comprehensive treatment strategy, psychoeducational, psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological, is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Mental retardation
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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