The University of Washington has come up with a research that says anti-social behaviour among girls and anxiety among both sexes act as pointers to depression in early adolescence.
According to James Mazza, the lead author of the new study and a UW professor of educational psychology "Anti-social behaviour has typically been viewed as a big problem among boys, so it tends to be ignored among girls".
"Boys with early anti-social behaviour typically go on to show more anti-social behaviour while girls may turn inward with symptoms, morphing into other mental health problems such as depression eating disorders, anxiety and suicidal behaviour during adolescence"
"When all the risk factors were analyzed, anti-social behaviour and anxiety were the most predictive of later depression. It just may be that they are more prevalent in the early elementary school years than depression," he added.
James Mazza also said that depression and anxiety have a number of common symptoms. The early adolescence when the gender difference occur marks the first episode of depression. The depressive symptoms hit the girls more than the boys.
Children can be exposed to assessment at the age of 6 and 7. However depression is often traced or diagnosed only in the middle school years.Children in this study were made to participate from a larger project viewing the risks of health and behaviour problems. More than about 800 children participated in the depression study out of which eighty-one percent were whites and 54 percent were boys.The online edition of The Journal of Early Adolescence had this research published.