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Centre for Adolescent Health

Two Phase Study of Adolescent Depression

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.


    There is a striking lack of information examining community-based case-control studies of adolescent depression. The aim of this study was to investigate a range of risk factors in young people identified at risk for major depression.

    Project Description

    The Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) offered an outstanding opportunity to mount a case-control study of adolescent depression. From the second wave of data collection subjects at high risk for major depression were identified using the Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R). This group of young people were invited to participate in a second phase interview which included the depression and hypomania modules of the Comprehensive International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Ninety-three cases of depression and over 300 non-depressed control subjects were identified in this study. Interviews were conducted with both parents of identified cases and a sub-series of controls. Information was collected covering a broad range of risk factors including parental psychopathology, previous psychopathology and health risk behaviour, pre-morbid personality, childhood temperament, childhood separations and illness and parental bonding.


    • Patton GC, Coffey C, Posterino M, Carlin JB, Wolfe R. Parental 'affectionless control' in adolescent depressive disorder, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology; 2001: 36: 475-480.
    • Patton GC, Coffey C, Posterino M, Carlin JB, Wolfe R. Adolescent depressive disorder: a population-based study of ICD-10 symptoms, 2000: 34:741-747.
    • Patton GC, Coffey C, Posterino M, Carlin JB, Wolfe R. A computerised screening instrument for adolescent depression: population-based validation and application to a two phase case control study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 1999: 34:166-172. 


    Carolyn Coffey