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Open AccessArticle

The Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Correlates of Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescents in China: Differences in Only Child and Non-Only Child Groups

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College of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
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Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Affective and Social Cognitive Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
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College of Politics and Law, Anhui University of Architecture, Hefei 230000, China
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Research Center of Modern Psychology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020438
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 30 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
This study explores the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of depressive symptoms in early adolescents in China, as well as the differences between an only child and non-only child group. A total of 2059 seventh-grade Chinese students were invited to complete a questionnaire, which included questions concerning socio-demographic factors, family function, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The results revealed the following things. (1) thirty-four point seven percent of the participating Chinese early adolescents display symptoms of depression according to Radloff’s criteria. Differences are significant across the four dimensions (i.e., positive affect, negative affect, somatic symptoms and retarded activity, and interpersonal difficulties), as well as across total scores between only children and children with sibling(s). (2) Academic achievement, having sibling(s) or not, migration, and family function can significantly predict depressive symptoms. (3) Two significant interactions were found, which were between sibling(s) and gender as well as sibling(s) and family function. Girls from the non-only child group and adolescents from the only child group with poor family function were more likely to have depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that a greater focus should be placed on girls from non-only child families, academic under-performers, migrants, and adolescents from poor family environments, and especially only children, to prevent or reduce the propensity for depressive symptoms. View Full-Text
Keywords: depressive symptoms; early adolescents; gender; siblings; family functions depressive symptoms; early adolescents; gender; siblings; family functions
MDPI and ACS Style

Chi, X.; Huang, L.; Wang, J.; Zhang, P. The Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Correlates of Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescents in China: Differences in Only Child and Non-Only Child Groups. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 438.

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