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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2007 Dec;75(6):888-900.

Recovery from major depressive disorder among female adolescents: a prospective test of the scar hypothesis.

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Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


This study examined the psychosocial consequences of experiencing major depressive disorder (MDD). In a 7-year longitudinal study of 496 female adolescents, the authors identified 49 girls who experienced their first episode of MDD and then recovered. They were compared with a randomly selected group of 98 never depressed participants on 13 psychological, social, psychiatric, and life events variables. None of the variables fit the scar pattern (i.e., a group difference that emerges during the first MDD episode and remains elevated post-recovery). All 13 variables were elevated before, during, and after the MDD episode, although some increased during the MDD episode. Results provide little support for the scar hypothesis among adolescent girls but instead suggest that many risk variables are elevated before and after the MDD episode. Interventions that modify these factors may help to reduce depression incidence and recurrence among female adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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