Depressive symptoms in adolescents are very common
A substantial proportion of adolescents in Germany is affected by depressive symptoms. This is the result of a representative survey reported by Lutz Wartberg and colleagues in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.
The authors from University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, interviewed 1001 adolescents aged 12-17 years. Subsequently they determined the point prevalence of depressive symptoms and factors associated with these symptoms.
According to the survey, one in every 12 adolescents experiences depressive symptoms. The estimated point prevalence was significantly higher in girls than in boys. In addition to sex and older age, depressive symptoms were more common in association with certain other factors, such as a negative body image or problematic use of social media or computer games. Low interpersonal trust and family functioning were associated factors, according to the authors.
The study is the first to show in Germany that an association exists between depressive symptoms in adolescence and problematic use of social media.