Association between early temperament and depression at 18 years

Helen Bould*, Ricardo Araya, Rebecca M. Pearson, Lexine Stapinski, Rebecca Carnegie, Carol Joinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-736
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • EAS
  • Emotionality
  • Temperament


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