Association between early temperament and depression at 18 years

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Early childhood temperament, particularly negative emotionality (high tendency to show distress), may be a risk factor for subsequent depression.

METHODS: Using data from a large UK cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children), we examined the association between temperament on the Emotionality Activity Sociability Questionnaire at age 6 and ICD-10 depression at 18. Results were adjusted for a range of confounders.

RESULTS: Children with high emotionality scores at age 6 had a 20% (7-36%) increase in the odds of being diagnosed with depression at age 18.

CONCLUSIONS: Depression at 18 years has an early developmental diathesis, which means we may be able to identify children at risk of developing depression in young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-736
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Depression/epidemiology
  • Expressed Emotion/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Shyness
  • Temperament/physiology
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology

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