Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Depression Triples Between Ages 12 to 15 in Teenage Girls

The percentage of girls who experienced a major depressive episode in the preceding year tripled between the ages of 12 and 15—from 5.1 percent to 15.2 percent, respectively, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report also shows that an annual average of 1.4 million adolescent girls age 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year and that adolescent girls aged 12 to 17 are three times more likely to have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year than their male counterparts (12 percent versus 4.5 percent).

Another major finding was that older adolescent girls experiencing major depressive episodes were more likely to receive treatment than younger ones – about two-fifths of girls aged 15 to 17 received treatment as opposed to only one-third of the girls aged 12 to 14.

The report, “Data Spotlight: Depression Triples between the Ages of 12 and 15 Among Adolescent Girls,” is based on combined data from the 2008 to 2010 SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The full report is available here. For more information about adolescent mental health, see Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Paul Matthew Photography/


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