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J Affect Disord. 1999 Jan-Mar;52(1-3):269-74.

Perceived family characteristic differences between depressed and anxious children and adolescents.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Missouri-Columbia, 65201, USA.



The present study compared anxious vs. depressed children's and adolescents' perceptions about their family environment.


One hundred inpatient youngsters were interviewed for the study. Of these participants, 21 who met criteria for a depressive disorder without an anxiety disorder and 18 who met criteria for an anxiety disorder without a depressive disorder were compared on several self-report family measures. These measures included the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales-II (FACES-II), Family Strengths, and Social Support Questionnaire-Revised (SSQS-R).


Youngsters with depressive disorders reported having less pride in their families and perceived their families as being less adaptable to problems than did anxious children. Also, depressed children expressed lower levels of satisfaction with their social network than did anxious children.


The fact that our study only included reports from inpatient youngsters, families of anxious and depressed children may differ in the way family members relate to one another and in the way they deal with everyday problems.


Based on the evidence obtained in this study, anxiety and depression may be two distinct internalizing disorders with specific family characteristics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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