Adverse health consequences that co-occur with depression: A longitudinal study of black adolescent females

Academic Article


  • Objective. The purpose of this study was to identify adverse health consequences that may co-occur with depression among black female adolescents. Methods. Adolescents were recruited from high-risk neighborhoods in Birmingham, Alabama. The sample comprised 460 black female adolescents (aged 14-18 years) who completed assessments at baseline and at 6 and 12 months. Only adolescents who consistently scored above the threshold for depression at all 3 assessments (n = 76) or below the threshold at all 3 assessments (n = 174) were included (N = 250) in the data analysis. Within this sample, adolescents who were depressed were compared with those who were not depressed with respect to the following health consequences: low self-esteem, emotional abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, poor body image, and antisocial behavior. Results. Using generalized estimating equations and controlling for covariates, depressed adolescents were 5.3 times more likely to report low self-esteem, 4.3 times more likely to report emotional abuse, 3.7 times more likely to report being physically abused, and almost 3 times as likely to report being verbally abused. Furthermore, depressed adolescents were more than twice as likely to report poor body image and nearly twice as likely to report engaging in antisocial behaviors. Conclusions. The findings suggest that a broad range of adverse health consequences may accompany depression among black female adolescents. Physicians need to be alert to the co-occurrence of depression and low self-esteem; emotional, physical, and verbal abuse; poor body image; and antisocial behaviors among this population. Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • DiClemente RJ; Wingood GM; Lang DL; Crosby RA; Salazar LF; Harrington K; Hertzberg VS
  • Start Page

  • 78
  • End Page

  • 81
  • Volume

  • 116
  • Issue

  • 1