CHILDREN'S RISK FACTORS FOR DEPRESSION: AN EMPIRICAL APPROACH
 
Del Barrio, V., Universidad Nacional de Educacin a distancia, Spain
 
In this presentation, I will try to expose the evolution of the research on Children Depression through my work on this matter based on data of Spanish children gathered for 20 years. The Spanish incidence of depression is around 2% of the pre-school population, 10% in school children and 15% in adolescents. This rate is higher than it was before and similar to those in other developed countries. Researchers' efforts in this field focus on the causes or risk factors of CD in order to prevent it. The roots of this problem have been contemplated from many different theoretical perspectives. Nowadays, all experts agree about a multidimensional approach to study children depression. From that point of view, we assume a complex interaction between biological, personal and social factors to explain children's depression vulnerability. In this research, personal factors such as temperament, personal structure, cognitive styles, competence, self- esteem, sex and age seem to be strongly correlated with depression. The most outstanding social factors are: children-parent relationship, parent relationship, maternal depression, siblings and classmates interaction, school achievement and the number of negative events. Most of these factors work as the previous ones (maternal depression, personal structure) whereas others do it as tigers, coming from the environment (negative events, bad relationships) or become consequences (achievement, problem disorders). Nevertheless, all of them work in a complex interaction. The results are very similar to other data obtained in different countries and cultures, which indicates that depression is a homogenous dysfunctional reaction and with similar risk factors.