We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

A Controlled Family History Study of Childhood-Onset Depressive Disorder

Maria Kovacs, PhD; Bernie Devlin, PhD; Myrna Pollock, MSW; Cheryl Richards, MBA; Protap Mukerji, MS
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997;54(7):613-623. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1997.01830190033004.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Background:  We studied the family psychiatric history of 125 youths with childhood-onset depressive disorder (a portion of whom developed bipolar disorder) and 55 psychiatric controls with nonaffective disorder.

Methods:  Probands were classified according to prospectively observed clinical course in childhood. Family psychiatric history was determined by interviewers blind to probands' diagnoses, with mothers typically informing about themselves and about remaining first- and all second-degree adult relatives.

Results:  Families of affectively ill juveniles had 5-fold greater odds of lifetime depressive disorder and 2-fold greater odds of recurrent unipolar depressive disorder than did families of psychiatric controls. The higher risk of depression was most evident in first-degree and female relatives. Mothers of affectively ill youths were younger at onset of depression than were mothers of controls. Alcoholism and substance use disorders were more prevalent in relatives of affectively ill probands than in controls and cosegregated with familial depression. However, other covariates were more important at predicting patterns of familial depression. Familial illness patterns also varied somewhat with proband characteristics.

Conclusions:  Child probands with affective disorder identify families enriched with affective disorder (even compared with families of psychiatric controls), suggesting that juvenile- and adult-onset forms of this condition share the same diathesis. Rates of affective illness in the families of depressed youngsters also are notably higher than population-based estimates. The findings therefore indicate that very-early-onset affective disorder is familial and that pedigrees ascertained through affectively ill children are good candidates for family and genetic studies.


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.