Childhood depression revisited: indicators, normative tests, and clinical course.


From the Introduction: Until four or five decades ago, the clinical consensus about childhood depression was that it did not, and perhaps could not, occur (Lefkowitz & Burton, 1978; Rie, 1966; Rochlin, 1965; Wolfenstein, 1966). In fact, prior to 1960, childhood depression was rarely mentioned in the literature (Cytryn, 2003; Tisher, 2007). A number of studies and conceptualizations have since reversed this view (Burks & Harrison, 1962; Cytryn, Cytryn, & Rieger, 1967; Glaser, 1967; Kovacs & Beck, 1977; Sandler & Jaffe, 1965; Toolan, 1962). Notably, though, some authors have conceded that childhood depression was often not directly observable. Glaser (1967) and Lesse (1974) argued that depression in childhood was present, but masked by behaviours such as oppositional behaviour, aggressiveness, and bed-wetting, which were sometimes referred to as “depressive equivalents” (also see Cytryn & McNew, 1972; Toolan, 1962). Currently, the existence of childhood depression is widely accepted (Tisher, 2007).

Since this evolution in the thinking about childhood affective disorder, a number of assessment instruments have been developed to test for childhood depression. For example, the Children’s Depressive Rating Scale (CDRS, an instrument to be used by clinicians; Poznanski, Cook, & Carroll, 1979), the Children’s Depression Scale (CDS, self- or parent report; Tisher & Lang, 1983), and the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI, also self-report; Kovacs, 1992). Perhaps the most widely used is the CDI, which was developed as a downward extension of the well-known test for adults, the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961).

Publication Type: Journal Articles

Year of Publication: 2012

Topics: Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health

Authors: Angus Thompson

ISSN: 1719-8429

Journal Title: Journal Of The Canadian Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry

Volume: 21

Issue: 1

Pages: 5-8