In a prospective and comprehensive evaluation (including DSM-III
diagnoses) of 1,000 preschoolers in a child development unit, nine children
were found to meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. The symptoms
of these children are described and compared with those of a control group
of children from the same sample. The diagnosis of major depressive
disorder was associated with physical symptoms, including somatic
complaints, and the likelihood of parental abuse or neglect.