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Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: The Influences of the early Home Environment and Early Educational Child Care

NCJ Number
Child Development Volume: 78 Issue: 3 Dated: 2007 Pages: 746-756
Andrea E., McLaughlin; Frances A. Campbell; Elizabeth P. Pungello; Martie Skinner
Date Published
11 pages

This paper describes a longitudinal study to determine the relationship between young adult depression and early childhood intervention; the authors describe their research methodology and outcomes.


The authors report on their investigation of the relationship between depressive symptoms in young adults, the quality of the early home environment, and early educational childcare in young adults randomly assigned to receive early childhood intervention in the Abecedarian study. Of the original 111 infants enrolled (98 percent were African American), 104 participated in a follow-up at age 21. Those who had early treatment reported fewer depressive symptoms. The protective effects of the early childhood program were further supported by a significant home environment by treatment interaction. Negative effects of lower quality home environments on young adult depressive symptoms were almost entirely offset by preschool treatment, whereas depressive symptoms increased as the quality of the early home environment decreased for those in the control group. Publisher Abstract Provided