Childhood depressive symptoms during the transition to primary school in Hong Kong: Comparison of child and maternal reports

Mun Amanda WONG, Thomas G. POWER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine changes in children's depressive symptoms using CES-DC depression scale during the first year of primary school in Hong Kong, as well as examine similarities and differences in the results as a function of rater—mother versus child. Children from two primary schools were studied—one primarily serving higher SES families and one primarily serving lower SES families. Children showed high levels of depressive symptoms at the beginning of primary school in both schools. Six year old children (N = 99, 55% were male) in the two schools showed different patterns of change over time. Mothers did not appear to recognize the changes in their children's depressive symptoms, reporting high levels of depressive symptoms in their children at each time point, showing no changes in depressive symptoms over time. Mother and child ratings of depressive symptoms showed a low positive correlation (similar in size to correlations found in studies of older children in Western samples), and in general, mothers reported higher levels of depressive symptoms in their children than did their children. Based on the findings, implications for future studies and early intervention services for strengthening young children's coping strategies during the transition to primary schools are discussed. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume100
Early online dateFeb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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Hong Kong
primary school
childhood
Mothers
Depression
school
coping
rating

Citation

Wong, M., & Power, T. G. (2019). Childhood depressive symptoms during the transition to primary school in Hong Kong: Comparison of child and maternal reports. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 183-190. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.02.035