Summary: BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2000), 176, 142-149
First-episode major depression in adolescents
Aective, cognitive and endocrine characteristics of risk status and predictors of onset
I.M.GOODYER, J.HERBERT, A.TAMPLIN and P.M.E.ALTHAM
There is little information on whether patterns of steroids precede and are associated with depressive
To establish whether there is an association between salivary cortisol and/ or dihydroepiandros-
terone (DHEA) levels and depression independent of psychosocial risk.
Two subgroups of adolescents in the community at high (n = 181) and low (n = 65) risk for
psychopathology were interviewed for recent psychiatric disorder at entry and again at 12 months.
Salivary samples (08.00 and 20.00h) for hormone estimations and self-reports on current mood and
cognitive style were obtained at both assessments.
Neither hormone was associated with risk status, current mood or cognitive style at entry. Of 31
onsets of major depression that occurred over the next 12 months, 30 came from the high-risk group
but were not associated with any particular pattern of risk. Increased negative mood and feelings
and DHEA (08.00h) hypersecretion at entry were associated with subsequent major depression.