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Adolescent Girls II Background Factors in Anxiety and Depressive States

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



This study investigated the prevalence and background variables associated with anxiety and depressive disorders occurring in a community population of older teenage girls.


Girls aged 15–20 years (n = 529) whose names were drawn from general practitioner age/sex registers completed self-report Great Ormond Street Mood Questionnaires. From this sample, 143 girls (69 with high self-report scores and 74 controls) were intensively interviewed. Information was obtained on confiding/supportive relationships, family arguments and rows, quality of marital relationship, and degree of parental control. Psychiatric state was assessed by use of the Clinical Interview Schedule to provide a Total Weighted Score. A modified form of the Bedford Life Events and Difficulties Schedule was applied.


The estimated one-year prevalence rate for psychiatric disorder was 18.9%, and 16.9% for depression and anxiety disorders. Using a logit analysis, it was shown that maternal distress (P < 0.02) and the quality of the mother's marriage (P < 0.02) were independently associated with the presence of depression and anxiety disorders.


About 17% of girls in a community sample living at home showed a depression or anxiety disorder. Even in late adolescence, the presence of a mood disorder is closely linked to the quality of family relationships within the home.


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 surrogate fathers), other relatives acting in loco parentis, husbands or partners. Eight girls lived alone or in hostels; there was no key relative in these circumstances.



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Adolescent Girls II Background Factors in Anxiety and Depressive States

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


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Adolescent Girls II Background Factors in Anxiety and Depressive States

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