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Prediction of adolescent affective disorder: effects of prior parental affective disorders and child psychopathology.

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Judge Baker Children's Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To examine the role of major parental and child diagnostic factors in predicting episodes of serious affective disorder in adolescents in a nonreferred sample.


The sample included 139 youngsters (average age 14 years at enrollment) drawn from a health maintenance organization and evaluated at two points in time 4 years apart. Both parents and adolescents were assessed using structured diagnostic instruments scored according to criterion systems. Parent and child lifetime diagnoses identified in the first assessment were used to predict the onset of episodes of serious affective disorder in the adolescents which occurred between the first and second assessment.


Stepwise multiple regression analyses of the significant univariate factors showed that the most powerful predictors of episodes of affective disorder were total number of diagnoses the adolescents received prior to first assessment, lifetime duration of parental major depressive disorder, and total number of lifetime nonaffective disorders of the parents.


Broad risk factors from different domains best predict episodes of affective disorder in children and adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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