Abnormal psychology


Research Article Critique

Part 1: Introduction


Twenge, J. M., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2002). Age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and birth cohort difference on the children’s depression inventory: A meta-analysis. Journal of abnormal psychology111(4), 578.


The study by Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) conducted a within-scale meta-analysis on 310 children between 8 to 16 years in response to the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI). The research found that girls’ depressions overall scores were steady at the ages of 8 to 11 but later increased at 12 years old. In contrast, Boy’s CDI scores were relatively stable between 8 to 16 years, but they scored higher when 12 years old. The girls’ scores were significantly lower than that of boys during their childhood but got higher as their age increased, mainly from 13 years. The study also suggests that socioeconomic status did not affect the outcomes, and there were no profound differences between the Black and White samples. Nonetheless, Hispanic children had higher scores on the CDI. Analysis for birth cohort also showed decreased CDI scores in boys over time while there are no changes in girls.


The authors for this report have the academic qualifications authority to conduct the research. More specifically, Jean M.Twenge has a Ph.D. and is a professor at the Department of Psychology at the College of Sciences at San Diego University. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema was a well-known psychologist and writer whose works significantly explains why women are more likely to get depression than men.


The article provides essential data intended for scholars or learners studying more about depression in different depression. The research can inform clinical decisions made by psychologists and doctors in the treatment of depression in children.

Part 2

Research topic

The author clearly states and defines the main topic investigated in the research. It starts by stating that “Depression in children and adolescents has been a frequent focus of research in clinical and developmental psychology in the last 3 decades.” This statement illustrates that the research will be exploring depression, focusing on children and adolescents and that it will use previously acquired data to show the occurrence of the issue in the stated populations. He also illustrates the importance of conducting the research, especially when depression cases in children are increasing significantly. The authors also identify the variables explored in the research. Some of these variables include ethnicity, age, social class, and gender.

Further, Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) show how these variables relate, contribute, and influence depressive symptoms. According to the article, previous qualitative reviews suggest that the occurrence rates of depression increase from childhood towards adolescence but in girls more than in boys. Based on this statement, as children’s ages increase, they are likely to experience depressive symptoms. However, this is only common among girls. Boys are most likely to experience minimal symptoms of depression. The article also introduces and explains how the CDI sores help in the measurement of depressive symptoms.

Literature Review

Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) provide sufficient or adequate review of different sources, giving profound background information on the studies and issues explored in the study. The article also discusses current research on depression and situates the author’s research using different sources. Here, the article presents different sections about depressions and some of the issues that contribute to the occurrence of depression in children and teenagers. For instance, it shows how race or ethnicity influences depression in children. Appropriately, it found that cultural factors among others lead to higher rate of depression in teenagers than other sample groups. Fundamentally, the article by Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) also state the objectives of the research. Here, it adds the importance of conducting a within-scale meta-analysis for this research. Though the article does not provide a specific research question, it explains the objectives of the research in the abstract and introduction sections.


The authors identify the methodology used in the research associated limitations when using that specific method. As mentioned earlier, the study used within-scale meta-analysis for the research. Nonetheless, this method allows the researchers to examine only one measure, in this case, the CDI. The sample is also described, including 61, 424 children between 8 and 16 years old, 31,787 girls and 29, 637 boys, used in study articles from Canada and the United States, with more 15 than participants not as psychiatric or hospital patients. The CDI measure is also adequately described explaining how it works and the items included and answered by participants to measure depression in children. There are ethical considerations to be considered, however, when using CDI in the research. The researchers must respect individuals’ privacy and ensure anonymity throughout the research. The authors analyzed the results by computing the correlation between CDI scores and time-weighted by sample size. 

Clinical implications of findings

The article by Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) shows the importance of the findings to the research. It also depicts the significant findings of the articles used in the meta-analysis. More importantly, the findings answer and meet the objectives of the study. The authors also use and integrate tables in the text to illustrate the findings from the studies used. 


The article also has a discussion section that interprets and discusses the findings of the research. This section’s content illustrates the study’s findings that validate the author’s conclusions about depression in children between 8 and 16. more precisely, this section explores the variables tested, including age and gender, race, and birth cohort. Throughout the section, the authors illustrate how the results were similar or dissimilar to specific studies exploring depressive symptoms.

Recommendation for future research

The research summarizes and explores data from various respondents, providing normative CDI scores, unconfounded by testing the effects or birth cohort. Nonetheless, at the end of the article, Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) recommend future research that addresses the various testing effects in longitudinal studies and finds strategies to minimize any research biases.


Personal reflection

In my view, the study by Twenge and Nolen-Hoeksema (2002) gives clear insights into the issues that cause and influence depression in children between 8 and 16 years, making it a suitable read during a period when cases of depression in children are increasingly reported. It is adequate research that gives the reader clear insights into the prevalence of depression in children due to various reasons. The research’s quality is demonstrated in the article, which includes all the aspects of the study from choosing the topic to selecting articles to report the findings and making the conclusions. In my perception, the research is timely and worthwhile as it could help scholars gain more insights into the drivers of depression in children. It also uses an appropriate design that gives precise findings using one measure applicable to the sample. I did not find any errors or omitted data; thus, the research is valid for different purposes. Fundamentally, the article increases my knowledge and understanding of the prevalence of depression in young boys and girls. The article has a good structure with the sections presenting the steps of the research as they occurred. The authors’ style and language are also clear and easy to understand, keeping the readers engaged throughout the article. Lastly, the authors are respectful to the sample and other researchers’ work, where they cite other sources and studies appropriately throughout the paper.