Background Environmental risks in childhood have been shown to predict later depressive symptoms. In this study, we examined whether various environmental risk domains in childhood and adolescence, socioeconomic, psychoemotional, parental lifestyle and life-events, predict depressive symptom trajectories in adulthood individually by domain and as a cumulative risk score across domains.
Methods Participants were a nationally representative sample of 1289 men and 1585 women from the Young Finns study, aged 3–18 years at study entry in 1980. They responded to questions on depressive symptoms (modified version of the Beck Depression Inventory) at four study phases from 1997 to 2012.
Results Findings from longitudinal repeated multilevel modelling showed that all clusters of risk within domain and the cumulative risk score were associated with later depressive symptoms (regression coefficient range from 0.07 to 0.34). Socioeconomic risk, psychoemotional risk and the cumulative risk score predicted later depressive symptoms after adjustment for the effects of adulthood risk. No interaction with time was observed.
Conclusions Our findings suggest that environment risks in childhood and adolescence, particularly in the socioeconomic and psychoemotional domains, are associated with a higher risk, but not an increased progression, of depressive symptoms in adulthood.
- CHILD HEALTH
- Cohort studies
- Epidemiological methods
- MULTILEVEL MODELLING