Young adults were considered to have symptoms of depression if they responded “all of the time” or “most of the time” to at least two of the following questions: “During the past 30 days, how often did you feel…”
- So sad that nothing could cheer you up
- Restless or fidgety
- That everything was an effort
Note: The National Center for Health Statistics, in partnership with Harvard Medical School, conducted a validity study to determine appropriate cut-points for these measures. The results of this study are available at http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/k6_scales.php.
Note that this is not a definition of clinical depression, and that these self-report data should not be taken to indicate levels of clinical depression in the population. Nevertheless, the relative incidence, across subgroups, of clinical depression is consistent with the research discussed above.
In 2013, while survey questions remained the same, their placement within the survey was moved. This may have affected responses.
 In 2013, the ordering of the survey items was changed, potentially affecting comparability of estimates over time.
Child Trends Databank. (2018). Young adult depression. Available at: https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=young-adult-depression