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Preschool-onset depression predicts major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders in later childhood and early adolescence
  1. Sylia Wilson
  1. Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; syliaw@umn.edu

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COMMENTARY ON: Luby JL, Gaffrey MS, Tillman R, et al. Trajectories of preschool disorders to full DSM depression at school age and early adolescence: continuity of preschool depression. Am J Psychiatry 2014;171:768–76.

What is already known on this topic

Preschool-onset depression is defined by age-adjusted subthreshold criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) in children aged 3–6 years.1 Preschool-onset depression has shown preliminary evidence of validity as a psychiatric disorder,2 but the long-term outcomes of preschool-onset depression are still unclear. Identifying the earliest manifestations of depression will help target intervention efforts.3

Methods of the study

This is a prospective, observational study. Children (n=246) aged 3–6 years were recruited from primary care and day care sites in St. Louis. Children with depressive symptoms were oversampled using the Preschool Feelings Checklist, a brief screening measure—children whose caregivers endorsed two or more depression symptoms were recruited for this study; children with symptoms of other psychiatric disorders and children without symptoms were …

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