Skip to main content Skip to left navigation Skip to footer
Skip Left Navigation

Browse by Topic

Depression in Children and Adolescents, Screening, 2016

* Indicates an old grade definition


Recommendations: Screening for Depression in Children and Adolescents

  • Depression: Screening -- Adolescents aged 12 to 18 years
    Grade: B
    Specific Recommendations:

    The USPSTF recommends screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.

    Frequency of Service:

    No Frequency of Service information currently available.

    Risk Factor Information:

    The USPSTF recommends screening for MDD in all adolescents but notes that several risk factors might help identify patients who are at higher risk. The causes of MDD are not fully known and likely involve a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors. Risk factors for MDD in children and adolescents include female sex; older age; family (especially maternal) history of depression; prior episode of depression; other mental health or behavioral problems; chronic medical illness; overweight and obesity; and, in some studies, Hispanic race/ethnicity. Other psychosocial risk factors include childhood abuse or neglect, exposure to traumatic events (including natural disasters), loss of a loved one or romantic relationship, family conflict, uncertainty about sexual orientation, low socioeconomic status, and poor academic performance.

  • Depression: Screening -- Children, aged 11 years or younger
    Grade: I
    Specific Recommendations:

    The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for MDD in children aged 11 years or younger.

    Frequency of Service:

    No Frequency of Service information currently available.

    Risk Factor Information:

    No Risk Factor Information currently available.

Prevention TaskForce

You are now leaving Prevention TaskForce website and going to
This website contains links to other federal and state agencies and private organizations. The United States Prevention Services Taskforce (USPSTF) cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by these website links. Linking to other sites does not constitute an endorsement by USPSTF of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the sites. You will be subject to the destination site's privacy policy when you leave the Prevention TaskForce website.

Continue Cancel