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Stressed Kids Can Become Depressed Adults

Childhood adversity set some up for mood disorders later

WEDNESDAY, May 5, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- If your children suffer high levels of stress, they are likely to be depressed and anxious as young adults.

That's the conclusion of a study in the May issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, based on 1,803 interviews among a sample of young adults aged 18 to 23 in a southern Florida community.

Interviewers asked about specific kinds of stressful events or traumatic incidents over the course of the participants' lifetimes. They also assessed the young adults for a wide range of emotional disorders.

The researchers found the level of lifetime exposure to adversity was associated with an increased risk of developing depression or anxiety disorders.

"In some cases the experience itself may be implicated in the observed elevation in risk, whereas in others the event may represent simply a marker for the occurrence of other stressors and/or the presence of other significant risk factors," researchers R. Jay Turner and Donald A. Lloyd, of Florida State University, said in a statement.

More information

The National Institute of Mental Health has more about anxiety disorders.

SOURCES: JAMA, news release, May 3, 2004
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