Some adolescents who suffer with symptoms of depression also may be at risk for developing anxiety, according to a new study of children's mental health.
The study found that among youth who have symptoms of depression, the risk is most severe for those who have one or more of three risk factors, said psychologist Chrystyna D. Kouros, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, who led the study.
Specifically, those who are most vulnerable are those who have a pessimistic outlook toward events and circumstances in their lives; those who have mothers with a history of an anxiety disorder; or those who report that the quality of their family relationships is poor, Kouros said.
A depressed adolescent with any one of those circumstances is more at risk for developing anxiety, the researchers found.
The findings suggest that mental health professionals could target adolescents with those risk factors. Early intervention might prevent anxiety from developing, Kouros said.
The findings are reported in Development and Psychopathology.
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