We investigated the changing patterns of depression in junior high school students over one year. A latent class growth analysis was used to examine the responses of 923 junior high school students to the Japanese version of the Depression Self-Rating Scale for Children (DSRS-C; assesses decreased activity and pleasure, and depressed mood) at three time points. The analysis revealed seven distinct trajectories in the scores on both subscales (e.g., retaining a high score, decrease from high to moderate score, and increase from moderate to high score). These results revealed that about 20% of the students were at high risk for increased depression at some point during the year. These results indicated that depression is not stable among junior high school students, and that it changes throughout the year. These observations could provide useful information for research and practice related to depression in junior high school students.
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