Depression and Young People

Depressive disorders tend to first appear in adolescence or early adulthood. Overall, about 25% of people who develop depression will do so before the age of 20 years.

Having a genetic vulnerability or being exposed to adversity does not mean a young person will develop depression. Research on resilience has found a number of protective factors that can reduce a young person’s risk of developing depression.

The most consistent finding is related to having good quality interpersonal relationships (e.g. the presence of a supportive adult). Other factors include having adaptive coping mechanisms and thinking styles, and parental relationships that are characterised by warmth and acceptance.