A primary objective of the present study was to determine the validity of first graders’ self-reports of depressed mood and feelings. To that end, the prognostic power of first-grade self-reports of depressed mood and feelings was examined with respect to later psychopathology and adaptive functioning in a population of urban school children (N = 946). First-grade self-reports of depressed mood predicted later child academic functioning, the need for and use of mental health services, suicidal ideation, and a diagnosis of major depressive disorder by age 14. The prognostic power of these early self-reports suggests that children as young as 5 or 6 years of age are capable of providing valid reports of depressed mood and feelings.
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