There has been a significant climb in the prevalence of major depression among adolescents and young adults in recent years – and the troubling trend may be strongest in teenage girls, according to a new study.
After analyzing the data, researchers discovered that the prevalence of major depressive episodes over a 12-month period increased among girls from about 13% in 2005 to about 17% in 2014. The increase was much lower among boys, rising from about 4% in 2005 to about 6% in 2014.
While it is not possible to determine the reasons for this difference, cyberbullying may play a role. Negative texting experiences appear to be more common in girls than boys and have been linked to depressed mood.
Additionally, adolescent girls may face more interpersonal stress — such as the stress of fighting with a family member or friend — than boys, putting them at a greater risk of depression, according to separate research published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science in 2014.
– Jacqueline Howard