Johns Hopkins University Study Finds Sharp Rise in Depression Among Adolescent Girls

depressionA new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore finds that rates of clinical depression are up sharply among adolescents in recent years. The rise is particularly alarming among girls, according to the study.

The study examined records of more than 175,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. Researchers found that in 2014, one in six adolescent girls reported a bout of clinical depression within the past year. The authors define a state of clinical depression as a loss of interest or pleasure from daily activities for a period of at least two weeks. Overall, the rate of adolescents suffering from depression was up 37 percent in 2014 from 2005 levels. Among girls, the prevalence of major depressive episodes increased from 13.1 percent in 2005 to 17.3 percent in 2014.

The researchers could not determine the reasons for the rise in depression rates, particularly among girls. They speculate that greater exposure to known depression risk factors such as problematic cell phone use, including cyberbullying, may play a role.

The study, “National Trends in the Prevalence and Treatment of Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults,” was published on the website of the journal Pediatrics. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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