Research studies testing longitudinal relations between childhood physical health measures and adulthood sub-clinical depressive symptoms are rare. In the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, longitudinal relations of parental reports of the global physical health of the child (1 = good, 2 = moderately good, 3 = average/not good) and of absent days from daycare due to physical illness during the past year (1 = no absent days, 2 = 1-5 days, 3 = 6-10 days, 4 = 11 days or more) with self-reported depressive symptoms (a modified version of the Beck Depression Inventory) were studied over 17 years. The sample was population-based, consisting at the study entry of 3- and 6-year-olds (n = 567) free of any chronic physical or mental illnesses. The results indicated that parent-reported global physical health of the child during the childhood period significantly predicted the participant's self-reported depressive symptom scores at follow-up 12 and 17 years from the baseline (ps <.03). The risk of having depressive symptom scores at the top quartile of age- and gender-specific distributions at follow-up 12 and 17 years from the baseline, and both follow-ups simultaneously was 1.97- to 4.49-fold (95% confidence intervals: 1.15-11.96) for participants with a moderately good to average/not good global physical health at the study entry relative to participants with a good global physical health. Absent days from daycare were not associated with depressive symptoms. Despite its subjectivity, the results support the validity of parental reports and suggest that parent-reported global physical health rating of the child early in development may indicate a risk for later depressive symptoms.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||BRITISH JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2004|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience