A Systematic Review of Depressed Mood and Anxiety by SES in Youth Aged 10-15 Years

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Objectives: A majority of population-based studies suggest prevalence of depressed mood and anxiety is most common during late adolescence to early adulthood. Mental health status has been linked previously to socio-economic status in adults. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to clarify if socio-economic status (SES) is a risk indicator of depressed mood or anxiety in youth between the ages of 10 to 15 years old.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature review to identify published or unpublished papers between January 1, 1980 and October 31, 2006 that reviewed depressed mood or anxiety by SES in youth aged 10-15 years.

Synthesis: We found nine studies that fulfilled our inclusion criteria and passed the methodological quality review. The prevalence of depressed mood or anxiety was 2.49 times higher (95% CI 2.33-2.67) in youth with low SES in comparison to youth with higher SES.

Discussion: The evidence suggests that low SES has an inverse association with the prevalence of depressed mood and anxiety in youth between the ages of 10 to 15 years old. Higher rates of depressed mood and anxiety among lower socio-economic status youth may impact emotional development and limit future educational and occupational achievement.

Conclusion: Lower socio-economic status is associated with higher rates of depressed mood and anxiety in youth.

Key words: Depressive disorder; anxiety disorders; mental health; socioeconomic factors; youth

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

The mental health of children and youth is an area warranting continued scientific and public health attention.1 the World health Organization predicts that by the year 2020, childhood and adolescent mental health problems will become one of the leading causes of morbidity, mortality and disability among children worldwide.2

A majority of population-based studies suggest prevalence of depressed mood is most common during late adolescence to early adulthood. A national survey from canada determined that prevalence of depression was highest in the 15-19 age group (9.2%; 95% ci 7.1-11.3) with a prevalence rate of 2.7% in the 12-14 age group.3 a review of three american population-based studies suggests that most depressive symptoms start at approximately age 12 and peak between the ages of 15 and 17.4 Regrettably, first-onset depression is being manifested at a younger age than observed previously.5 the prevalence of depressed mood in youth is higher than depressive disorder, with prevalence rates of depressed mood among youth ranging from 21% to 50%.6,7

Depression has a wide array of symptoms affecting somatic, cognitive, affective, and social processes. The consequences of depression include academic failure, poor peer relations, behavioural problems, conflict with parents and authority figures, low self esteem, substance abuse and interruption in development. 5,8-11 up to 41% of youth with depressive disorder report suicide ideation and 21% of depressed youth attempt suicide. 6 the Ontario child health study found that only 16.1% of children with mental health disorders receive mental health or social service attention.12

The identification of anxiety disorders, and how they influence children and adolescence, has been very much undervalued.13 in children and youth, approximately 20% of youth suffer from at least one anxiety disorder.6

Given that youth onset of depression and anxiety disorders are major risk factors for adult disorder, and that life events experienced in youth are associated with depression in adulthood, it is important to understand risk indicators of mental health status in youth.14-20 socio-economic status is believed to be a key risk indicator, although some authors suggest the findings are inconsistent.1,6,21

The objective of this systematic literature review was to determine the association between socio-economic status and depressed mood or anxiety in youth aged 10-15 years old. …