Early Neurodevelopment and Self-Reported Adolescent Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in a National Canadian Cohort Study Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the mental health outcomes of young children who experience developmental delay. The objective of this study was to assess whether delay in attaining developmental milestones was related to depressive and anxious symptoms in adolescence. METHOD: The sample included 3508 Canadian children who participated in a nationally representative prospective cohort study. The person most knowledgeable about the child reported on attainment of developmental milestones spanning several developmental domains at ages 2-3. The children were followed into adolescence and self-reported depressive and anxious symptoms were used from adolescents ages 12-13. An overall assessment of developmental milestones as well as a supplementary analysis of specific categories of developmental milestones was conducted. RESULTS: Cohort members who displayed delayed developmental milestones in early childhood were more likely to experience higher levels of depressive and anxious symptoms as adolescents. However, there was no interaction between delayed developmental milestones and stressful life events. In the supplementary analysis, two developmental domains (self-care and speech/communication) were associated with higher levels of depressive and anxious symptoms in adolescence. CONCLUSION: Delay in attainment of early developmental milestones is significantly associated with adolescent depressive and anxious symptoms.

publication date

  • 2013