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Drawing from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH; N = 611,880), a nationally representative survey of U.S. adolescents and adults, we assess age, period, and cohort trends in mood disorder and suicide-related outcomes since the mid-2000s. Rates of major depressive episode in the last year among adolescents aged 12 to 17 increased by 52% 2005-2017; major depressive episode in the last year increased 63% between 2009 and 2017 among young adults 18-25. Serious psychological distress in the last month and suicide-related outcomes (suicidal ideation, plans, attempts, and deaths by suicide) in the last year also increased among young adults 18-25 between 2008 and 2017, with less consistent and weaker increases among adults ages 26 and over. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses separating the effects of age, period, and birth cohort suggest the trends among adults are primarily due to cohort, with a steady rise in mood disorder and suicide-related outcomes over birth cohorts from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Cultural trends contributing to an increase in mood disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors since the mid-2000s, including the rise of electronic communication and digital media and declines in sleep duration, may have had a larger impact on younger people, creating a cohort effect.


Journal of Abnormal Psychology


American Psychological Association








College of Business and Management


© 2019, American Psychological Association. This manuscript is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors’ permission. The final version of record is available via its DOI:

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