Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology, p. 211-214. Springer, 2010.


Copyright 2010, Springer. Used by permission.


It has only been within the past two decades that the majority ofclinicians and researchers reached agreement that children can experience a depressive disorder. Initially, researchers believed children’s lack of psychosexual development prohibited development of depression in childhood.

There has also been disagreement regarding which symptomatology comprises childhood depression, and how it differs from depression in adults. Many clinicians and researchers shared the belief that depression in children was “masked” by other symptoms (e.g., aggression, enuresis, anxiety, among others). More recent research has identified and emphasized the similarities between depressive symptoms experienced by adults and children. Cohort data suggest that the age-ofonset of depression has decreased, and prevalence has increased as compared to children born in the first half of the 20th century.

Discusses prevalence, assessment, course, comorbidity, criteria, etiology-familial environment/genetics, etiology/biological, preventions, treatment, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy. Includes a list of suggested reading.