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!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences