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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, G. C., Coffey, C., Posterino, M., Carlin, J. B., & Wolfe, R. (2001). Parental 'affectionless control' in adolescent depressive disorder. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology36(10), 475–480.
    • Patton, G. C., Coffey, C., Posterino, M., Carlin, J. B., & Wolfe, R. (2000). Adolescent depressive disorder: a population-based study of ICD-10 symptoms. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry34(5), 741–747. 
    • Patton, G. C., Coffey, C., Posterino, M., Carlin, J. B., Wolfe, R., & Bowes, G. (1999). A computerised screening instrument for adolescent depression: population-based validation and application to a two-phase case-control study. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology34(3), 166–172.


    Carolyn Coffey