Inside Health 22/9/17 – depression in children

press release

headlined ‘One in four girls is depressed’
and the first line
New research shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14

how do you diagnose depression ?

Moods and Feelings Questionnaire 


3) third party info
parents didn’t match up – maybe something in that – some people do disguise their low mood very well but if fully functioning sleep appetite apparently enjoying life as normal very likely to be
sensitivity 0.75 specificity 0.73

validated in 1998 Manchester
1000 14 year olds
assume 5% have depression

group of 1000
test will pick up 36 of the 50 of them
will also pick up 238 as positive who are actually not depressed Manchester

validation studies



2 Responses to “Inside Health 22/9/17 – depression in children”

  1. Cassian Young September 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    I am usually a big fan of your contributions to Inside Health. I didn’t find this week’s convincing.

    First of all, the same questions were asked of children in 2012 (from memory) and half the number of girls were rated as depressed.

    Second, very similar statistics are appearing in the US and are associated with a group of other rapidly changing behaviours. See this –

    Something important seems to be happening here.

    Best regards

    Cassian Young

    • margaretadmin October 3, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

      hello, these questionnaires can’t diagnose depression – they are a screening tool. The diagnosis of depression should not depend on a questionnaire alone. That should be uncontroversial…. Have a look at the link I’ve put in about true positives – easily outnumbering false positives.
      The trend is important, but may suggest whether or not the use of this particular questionnaire is still valid in this cohort..and whether there is increasing depression in young people is a different question that would need a different approach…