Background: Early childhood temperament, particularly negative emotionality (high tendency to show distress), may be a risk factor for subsequent depression.
Methods: Using data from a large UK cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children), we examined the association between temperament on the Emotionality Activity Sociability Questionnaire at age 6 and ICD-10 depression at 18. Results were adjusted for a range of confounders.
Results: Children with high emotionality scores at age 6 had a 20% (7-36%) increase in the odds of being diagnosed with depression at age 18.
Conclusions: Depression at 18 years has an early developmental diathesis, which means we may be able to identify children at risk of developing depression in young adulthood.