Prevalence and Correlates of Depressive Symptoms in Young Adolescents

Martha Y. Kubik, Leslie A. Lytle, Amanda S. Birnbaum, David M. Murray, Cheryl L. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms in young adolescents and examine associations between symptoms and sociodemographic and behavioral factors. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data from 3621 seventh grade students from 16 middle schools were analyzed. Results: Elevated depressive symptoms were reported by 40% of girls and 30% of boys. Socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and age group were independently associated with depressive symptomatology. For girls, monthly alcohol use, monthly smoking, heavy drinking, and inhalant use were significant correlates. For boys, monthly alcohol use and inhalant use were significant. Conclusions: Elevated depressive symptomatology was a prevalent problem. Substance use was often associated with depressive symptoms, especially among girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003


  • Adolescents
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Substance use


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