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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2015 Oct;49(10):869-86. doi: 10.1177/0004867415603129.

Community factors influencing child and adolescent depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia kstirlin@deakin.edu.au.
2
Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Depression has been identified as a priority disorder among children and adolescents. While numerous reviews have examined the individual and family factors that contribute to child and adolescent depressive symptoms, less is known about community-level risk and protective factors. The aim of this study was to complete a systematic review to identify community risk and protective factors for depression in school-aged children (4-18 years).

METHOD:

The review adopted the procedures recommended by the Cochrane Non-Randomised Studies Methods Working Group and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify both observational and intervention study designs in both peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed publications.

RESULTS:

A total of 21 studies met the inclusion criteria. Seventeen of the 18 community association studies and 2 of the 3 intervention studies reported one or more significant effects. Results indicated that community safety and community minority ethnicity and discrimination act as risk factors for depressive symptoms in school-aged children. Community disadvantage failed to achieve significance in meta-analytic results but findings suggest that the role of disadvantage may be influenced by other factors. Community connectedness was also not directly associated with depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSION:

There is evidence that a number of potentially modifiable community-level risk and protective factors influence child and adolescent depressive symptoms suggesting the importance of continuing research and intervention efforts at the community-level.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; children; community risk and protective factors; depression; depressive symptoms; emotional disorders; intervention studies; meta-analysis; systematic review

PMID:
26416916
DOI:
10.1177/0004867415603129
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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