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Recurrence of major depression in adolescence and early adulthood, and later mental health, educational and economic outcomes

  • David M. Fergusson (a1), Joseph M. Boden (a1) and L. John Horwood (a1)
Abstract
Background

It is unclear how the recurrence of major depression in adolescence affects later life outcomes.

Aims

To examine the associations between the frequency of major depression at ages 16–21 and later outcomes, both before and after controlling for potentially confounding factors.

Method

Data were gathered from a 25-year longitudinal study of a birth cohort of New Zealand children (n=982). Outcome measures included DSM–IV symptom criteria for major depression and anxiety disorders, suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, achieving university degree or other tertiary education qualification, welfare dependence and unemployment, and income at ages 21–25 years.

Results

There were significant (P<0.05) associations between the frequency of depression at ages 16–21 years and all outcome measures. After adjustment for confounding factors, the association between frequency of depression and all mental health outcomes, and welfare dependence and unemployment, remained significant (P<0.05).

Conclusions

The frequency of depression in adolescence and young adulthood is associated with adverse mental health and economic outcomes in early adulthood.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor David M. Fergusson, Christchurch Health and Development Study, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand. Tel: +64 3 372 0406; fax: +64 3 372 0407; email: david.fergusson@chmeds.ac.nz
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Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
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  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Recurrence of major depression in adolescence and early adulthood, and later mental health, educational and economic outcomes

  • David M. Fergusson (a1), Joseph M. Boden (a1) and L. John Horwood (a1)
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