Subtypes of Depressed Youth Admitted for Inpatient Psychiatric Care: A Latent Profile Analysis.

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DOI: 10.1007/s10802-023-01157-7


Depressed youth frequently present with comorbid symptoms. Comorbidity is related to a poorer prognosis, including treatment resistance, academic problems, risk of suicide, and overall impairment. Studies examining the latent structure of depression support the notion of multiple presentations of depressed youth; however, it is unclear how these presentations are represented among acutely impaired youth. Participants (n = 457) in this naturalistic study were admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit (Mean age = 14.33 years, SD = 1.94;76% female;46.6% Black/African-American). Selected subscales from the parent-report Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition, were utilized as indicators in a latent profile analysis. Subgroups were validated based on their relationships with meaningful clinical correlates (e.g., family factors, discharge diagnosis) and further described by their associations with demographic variables. A five-class model provided the best balance of fit and parsimony. Subtypes of depressed youth included Predominantly Depressed (39.1%), Oppositional (28.2%), Severely Disruptive (12.3%), Anxious-Oppositional (11.6%), and Anxious-Withdrawn (8.8%). Comorbid symptoms were present in four of the five classes (60.9% of sample). High levels of externalizing symptoms were a prominent clinical feature associated with three classes (52.1% of the sample). Construct validity of the respective classes was demonstrated by differential association with clinical correlates, family characteristics, and demographics. Findings suggest that depressed youth presenting for acute inpatient psychiatric care displayed varied clinical presentations. The identified latent groups aligned with existing research reflecting comorbidity with anxiety, inattention, and externalizing disorders. Findings underscore the need for an increased clinical appreciation of comorbidity and encourage more targeted and effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Journal Title

Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Female; Male; Adolescent; Inpatients; Comorbidity; Child; Latent Class Analysis; Depression; Depressive Disorder


Adolescents; Children; Depression; Latent Profile Analysis; Psychopathology

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