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Anti-social behaviors, like relational bullying, in young girls may be a precursor to adolescent depression.

Although past behaviors are typically considered good predictors of future behaviors, for the case of adolescent depression in females, that assumption has been disproven.  Anti social behaviors is a greater predictor for depression in children than depressive symptoms.  A longitudinal study put out by the University of Washington measured depression, anxiety, and anti-social behaviors in 1st and 2nd graders and then remeasured those factors seven years later in 8th and 9th grades.  One of the more interesting outcomes of the study is the finding that children as young as 1st and 2nd grade are able to identify themselves as feeling anxious or depressed.

I wonder how the destigmatization of mental health that has been occuring over the past few years has been effecting the vocabulary of young children with regard to unpleasurable feelings, such as anxiety or depression.  How can we increase the efficacy of school mental health programing with younger populations?  What do you think?

University of Washington (2009, February 18). Anti-social Behavior In Girls Predicts Adolescent Depression Seven Years Later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090217141538.htm

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