The public costs of depression in adolescent girls.

Foster, E. M., Heier-Leitzell, B., & Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2011). The public costs of depression in adolescent girls. In T. Strauman, P. R. Costanzo, & J. Garber (Eds.) Depression in adolescent girls: Science and prevention (pp. 97-111). Guilford Press.

Abstract: The public and societal costs of depression among adults are well documented. In contrast, public costs have not been extensively examined for girls, many of whom experience depression during adolescence. This paper examined the public costs (i.e., mental health, medical, school, and juvenile justice) for 283 girls from the Fast Track project when they were in grades 6-12. 16% were either diagnosed with depression or showed elevated symptoms. Expenditures on mental health services for depressed girls were 5.0 times those for girls without a diagnosis of depression or elevated symptoms; school services, 1.8 times as large; and juvenile justice costs, 2.6 times as large. Given that depression is often a chronic and debilitating illness, actual costs accrued over the lifespan are likely to be much higher.