Past Issues

Predictive Effect of Life Events on Adolescent Depression in Taiwan

Ming-Shun Chung, Wen-Jung Sun, Chieh-Nan Lin, Chien-Cheng Kuo, Wei-Che Huang, Hui-Ping Cheng, Pesus Chou

Objectives: High risk of developing depression, adolescence is a critical focus of study in determining vulnerability to depression. In children and adolescents, negative life events (NLE) are associated with the development of depression. The objective of this study was to study the impacts of life events on major depressive disorder and dysthymia in adolescents in Taiwan. Methods: We recruited 719 students (grades 5-8) to collect demographic data, Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire score, and Life Events Checklist at the fi rst stage. Psychiatrists interviewed 511 students of those 719 students with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview-Kid to assess their psychiatric diagnoses 1.5-2.5 years later, at the second stage. With multiple logistic regression, we determined risk factors for the diagnoses of depressive disorders. Results: There was signifi cant difference among no depressive disorder, dysthymia, and major depressive disorder in NLE. Independent NLE are signifi cantly associated with major depressive disorder (p < 0.05), and deviated NLE are more signifi cantly associated with dysthymia (p < 0.01). “Parents divorced” (p < 0.01) and “Death of a family member” (p < 0.01) were signifi cantly predictive of major depressive disorder after controlling for the depressive symptoms at the fi rst stage. The life events “Parents divorced” (p < 0.01), “A new brother or sister” (p < 0.01), “Trouble with brother or sister,” (p < 0.01) and “Trouble with classmates” (p < 0.01) were signifi cantly predictive of dysthymia. Conclusion: Individual life events associated with the basic structure of the family and peer relationships may predict the onset of major depressive disorder and dysthymia.
Key Word adolescent, life events, major depressive disorder, dysthymia
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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