Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on childhood depression disorder. Current research has dispelled such a notion and as such many important figures in childhood, psychopathology has taken interest in this disorder.
Childhood depression affects 2-4% of children and about 5-8% of adolescents (Lake & Dulcan, 2011). Researchers worldwide have however found out that the rates of depression are on the rise that there is a trend of earlier ages of onset. The disorder has equal rates of boys and girls during childhood, but favours girls more than boys during the adolescent age by a ratio of 2:1 (Faraone et al. 2005).
Most of the developmental difficulties arising from this disorder can usually be identified at both the home and the school setting. In order to diagnose this disorder, the Diagnostic Statistical Manual – Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is used. According to the manual, criteria for the diagnosis of massive childhood depression include (Willcutt, 2012):
Confusion usually arises in the field of childhood depression same as adult depression due to different applications of the term “depression” and variation in the method of diagnosis. In childhood depression studies, the term has been used to categorize those with depressed mood, those with a combination of depressed mood plus other symptoms creating a syndrome, or those who have a set of symptoms that have been identified by official diagnostic criteria for a depressive disorder.
Researchers have found out that various genetic, environmental, and social factors can contribute to the onset of depression in children. It has been discovered that there is a link between prenatal and perinatal maternal depression and childhood depression (Glover, 2011). Researchers have found out that fetal exposure to stress and stress hormones may affect infant temperament and may result in childhood depression as the child grows. .Pregnant women who are under constant stress, anxiety, and depression have very high levels of endocrine (cortisol) which may be passed on to children, hence causing them to be susceptible to depression during the early stages of development (Lifford, Harold & Thapar, 2008). .
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