Prevalence and Predictors of Pediatric Depression in the United States



  • Rajender R Aparasu
  • Saurabh Nagar
  • Ayush Patel
  • Vishal Bali


Depression is common in children and adolescents. However, little is known about the predictors of depression in children and adolescents. This study examined the prevalence and predictors of pediatric depression in the United States.  A cross sectional study was conducted using 2005-2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The study population included 5-17 years old children and adolescents with diagnosis depression, ascertained using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes. Independent variables were categorized as personal, family and environmental characteristics. Descriptive statistics were computed using t-test for the continuous variables and chi-square test for the categorical variables. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine personal, family, and environmental factors associated with pediatric depression.  Our results indicate that around 1.25 million (2.33%) children and adolescents had a diagnosis of depression in 2005-2006. Prevalence was significantly higher among adolescents aged 12-17 years (3.86%), children with single parent (4.05%) and children of parents suffering from psychiatric illness (5.24%). The multiple logistic regression analysis found that the likelihood of depression was higher for adolescents aged 12-17 years (Odds Ratio, OR: 2.40, 95% Confidence Interval (CI):  1.60-3.59), those with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (OR: 5.64, 95% CI: 3.52-9.04), and anxiety disorder (OR: 4.96, 95% CI: 2.65-9.26). Among family characteristics, odds of depression were higher for a child having either or both parents with psychiatric disorders (OR: 2.39, 95% CI: 1.60-3.59), those belonging to a single-parent household (OR: 2.63, 95% CI: 1.68-4.12), and to a family of eight or more members (OR: 2.92, 95% CI: 1.60-3.59). In conclusions, both personal and family level factors are associated with depression in children and adolescents. Understanding of these risk factors can help in timely diagnosis and management of depression in pediatric population


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Prevalence, Depression, Children, Adolescents, Health, Outcomes, Health Policy




How to Cite

Aparasu RR, Nagar S, Patel A, Bali V. Prevalence and Predictors of Pediatric Depression in the United States. Scopus Indexed [Internet]. 2014 Aug. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 20];7(3):2561-6. Available from:



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