The Development of Depression in Children and Adolescents

Dante Cicchetti, Sheree L. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

687 Scopus citations


In recent decades, research on child and adolescent depression has proliferated. Currently, attention in the field is directed toward examining the epidemiology, causes, course, sequelae, and treatment response of children at risk for developing or presently experiencing depressive disorders. In this article, a developmental psychopathology approach is used to elucidate the development of depressive disorders, the diverse pathways that evolve, and the processes that contribute to varied outcomes. The developmental psychopathology perspective underscores the importance of moving beyond the identification of isolated aberrations in psychological and biological components of depressive presentations to the understanding of how those components have evolved and how they are integrated within and transact across biological, psychological, and social systems. Implications for prevention and intervention are addressed as is the importance of increasing the public awareness of depressive disorders and reducing the social stigma that interfere with the attainment of treatment for depressed persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-241
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


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