In the new Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, child psychiatrist/researcher Joan Luby from Washington University in St. Louis reports on recent findings examining depression in preschool-age children and the importance of early detection.
Depression in preschool-aged children does not always look the same as does depression in older children and adults — this is one reason that preschool depression has been largely neglected. For example, in depressed adults, anhedonia (the inability to enjoy pleasurable experiences) tends to show up in the form of a decreased libido. In young children however, anhedonia may appear as an inability to enjoy playtime. In addition, preschool depression may go unnoticed by parents because the symptoms may not be disruptive; these children may not seem obviously sad (as do many depressed adults) and may have periods of normal functioning during the day.
A key advance for the recognition of preschool depression has been the development of age-appropriate psychiatric interviews. These interviews have shown that preschool-age children do in fact exhibit typical symptoms of depression, including appearing less joyful, being prone to guilt, and changes in sleep patterns.
Research suggests that preschool depression is not just a temporary occurrence but may instead be an early manifestation of the same chronic disorder occurring later on — studies have demonstrated that depressed preschoolers are more likely to have depression in later childhood and adolescence than are healthy preschoolers. Due to the potentially long-lasting effect of preschool depression, early identification and intervention become very important. Young children's brains are very "plastic" — that is, their brains easily adapt and change to new experiences and events. This plasticity may explain why developmental interventions are more effective if started early on and this may also prove true for psychotherapy.
More research is needed for the development of treatments for preschool depression. Luby notes that while one study has shown that SSRI antidepressants may be effective in school aged children, there are concerns about side effects of these medications. A novel treatment for preschool depression is currently undergoing testing and may be promising. This treatment is based on Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and has been modified to emphasize the child's emotion development (ED). Early changes in emotion skills may be critical to risk for depression and PCIT–ED may help to correct those changes very early in development.
For more information about this research, please contact: Joan Luby (email@example.com)
Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes concise reviews spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications. For a copy of the article "Preschool Depression: The Importance of Identification of Depression Early in Development" and access to other Current Directions in Psychological Science research findings, please contact Barbara Isanski at 202-293-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Isanski | EurekAlert!
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Information Technology
18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science