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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001 Mar;58(3):231-6.

Childhood depression and adult personality disorder: alternative pathways of continuity.

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Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.



This study extends previous findings of the risks posed by childhood major depressive disorder and other psychopathological features for later personality disorder (PD) in a random sample of 551 youths.


Self-reports and mother reports were used to evaluate DSM-III-R (Axes I and II) psychiatric disorders at mean ages of 12.7, 15.2, and 21.1 years. Logistic regression was used to examine the independent effects of major depressive disorder in childhood or adolescence on 10 PDs in young adulthood.


Odds of dependent, antisocial, passive-aggressive, and histrionic PDs increased by more than 13, 10, 7, and 3 times, respectively, given prior major depressive disorder. Those effects were independent of age, sex, disadvantaged socioeconomic status, a history of child maltreatment, nonintact family status, parental conflict, preexisting PD in adolescence, and other childhood or adolescent Axis I psychopathological features, including disruptive and anxiety disorders. In addition, odds of schizoid and narcissistic PD increased by almost 6 times and odds of antisocial PD increased by almost 5 times given a prior disruptive disorder, and odds of paranoid PD increased by 4 times given a prior anxiety disorder.


Personality disorders may represent alternative pathways of continuity for major depressive disorder and other Axis I disorders across the child-adult transition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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