Children's Understanding of Depression Research Summary - Association for Child and Adolescent Health

A summary of new research conducted by the Association for Child and Adolescent Health which looks at children’s understanding of depression, based on their study of fictional texts. Children aged between 8 and 12 took part in the research. Researchers found that children tended to anticipate negative outcomes if the character's depression had not been treated. 1/3 of the children who took part in the research expected that there would be a deterioration in the fictional child's emotional state and children aged 11 and 12 years were naturally more sophisticated in their thinking about depression.

The research highlights the need for preventative school-based interventions in primary school that address the misconceptions that children have towards mental health, in particular anxiety and depression.