Depression and early experiences among young Japanese women: Multiple facets of experiences and subcategories of depression

T. Kitamura, N. Kijima, W. Aihara, A. Tomoda, R. Fukuda, M. Yamamoto

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The link between childhood experiences (before age of 16) and later onset of depression was examined among 98 young Japanese women who had all been newly employed by a company in Tokyo, Japan. We compared three groups: (a) 15 women who had reported a single episode of DSM-III-R Major Depression of less than two years duration (single episode; S.E.); (b) four women who had reported either more than one episode or any episode of two years or more duration meeting the criteria of Major Depression (recurrent or chronic; R.C.) and; (c) 53 women who had never experienced any major DSM-III-R Axis I disorders (normal control). The three groups did not differ significantly in terms of any parental loss experiences (either death or separation for 12 months or longer). The S.E. group perceived the father to be less affectionate than the other two groups. The R.C. group reported having been punched with a fist by the mother more frequently, and bullied at school. Among early life events (other than being bullied), parental divorce and own illness were reported more frequently by the R.C. group, and not being appointed as a "class leader" by the S.E. group. These findings suggest that early human experiences are linked to later depression and that single episode and recurrent/chronic depressions are discrete in their life history profiles. In order to screen women who need prevention and intervention (R.C. in particular) in community or school settings, it may be useful to tap their life history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Child abuse
  • Childhood life events
  • Classification
  • Depression
  • Loss experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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