The dimensions of depression in early adolescence

Michael Donnelly*, Ronnie Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


A factor analysis of the scores on the Child Depression Inventory [CDI (Kovacs, 1983)] of 887 11-15-yr-old secondary school students suggests that depression, or at least the construct measured by the CDI, is multi-dimensional. Moreover, comparisons between the sexes indicates that males and females may differ on dimensions of depression. The factor analysis yielded the following six factors: depressed mood; acting-out; negative self-concept; lack of positive affect; somatic symptoms; and guilt. The last two factors had weak reliability. This may suggest that somatic symptoms and guilt may not be as prevalent in adolescent as in adult depression. The pattern of sex differences across the different dimensions indicate that males, to a greater degree than females, express symptoms which might be described as 'behavioural' or 'acting-out' in nature whereas females display features of depression associated with 'negative self-concept'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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