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Adolescent Girls I Self-Reported Mood Disturbance in a Community Population

  • Elizabeth Monck (a1), Philip Graham (a1), Naomi Richman (a1) and Rebecca Dobbs (a1)



This study was undertaken to fill gaps in our knowledge of the rate of mood disorder in teenage girls in transition from school to further education, employment or unemployment.


Girls aged 15–20 years (n = 529) whose names were drawn from general practitioner age/sex registers were interviewed at home and completed the Great Ormond Street Mood Questionnaire. Their mothers completed the 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Social background variables were obtained.


Of the girls, 20.8% scored over the cut-off point previously established to indicate risk of psychiatric disorder. Scoring over the cut-off point was not associated with age or parental social class. It was associated with parental separation/divorce (P < 0.004), with maternal self-report on the GHQ (P < 0.001), and with parental unemployment (P < 0.04). Lowest self-report scores were obtained by girls who had left school and were in employment (P < 0.01).


About one in five of girls aged 15–20 are at risk of affective disorder. Self-reported mood disturbance is associated with a wide range of social and familial background variables, but not with age or parental socioeconomic status.


Corresponding author

Elizabeth Monck, Behavioural Sciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH


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The key relative was defined as the mother (or surrogate mother), but in households in which there was no mother, key relatives were defined as fathers (or father substitutes), other relatives acting in loco parentis, husbands or boyfriends. Eight girls lived alone or in hostels; there was no key relative in these households.



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Adolescent Girls I Self-Reported Mood Disturbance in a Community Population

  • Elizabeth Monck (a1), Philip Graham (a1), Naomi Richman (a1) and Rebecca Dobbs (a1)


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Adolescent Girls I Self-Reported Mood Disturbance in a Community Population

  • Elizabeth Monck (a1), Philip Graham (a1), Naomi Richman (a1) and Rebecca Dobbs (a1)
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