No Link Between Teen Depression and Violent Crime


Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research, using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, find little evidence that adolescent depression predicts violent crime.

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Anderson, D., Cesur, R., Tekin, E., Youth Depression and Future Criminal Behavior. National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2012

Of further Interest:
STUDY: Teen Depression Isn’t Linked To Future Violent Crimes (Think Pregress)
During Gun Violence Hearing, Senator Warns Against Stigmatizing Mental Illness (Thin Progress)
Why Mental Health Professionals Are Concerned About New York’s New Gun Safety Law (Think Progress)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. But the tragedy from this page is:

    “Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) recently introduced the Mental Health In Schools Act in an effort to “allow schools to collaborate with mental health providers, law enforcement, and other community-based organizations to provide expanded access to mental health care for their students””

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    • Even in my day of the early to mid 1990’s it was not difficult nor uncommon for schools to call child protective services on parents for refusing to drug their kids. If this bill passes, will that even be necessary anymore? Or will they just be able to call the cops instead?

      I see AT LEAST one more million children on psychotropic drugs following this disaster, and many more custody battles with the state.

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    • We don’t need any study to see that the more mental health ‘experts’ get involved in children’s lives, the worse it becomes as the child is typically forced onto psychiatric drugs. As reported in Natural News recently, US schools get a stipend for every child diagnosed with a ‘mental discorder’ which might explain why schools are falling over themselves fingering kids for the fraudulent diagnosis of ADHD. A child’s normal reaction to poverty, sexual abuse, neglect and so on is not ADHD and will not resolve with drugs. What the child needs are empathic teachers who will give that child a little more help, direct intervention to ensure the child has good nutrition and of course swift action if there is abuse and neglect. It is estimated that 2 out of every 4 children will experience molestation by the age of 18 years. Now psychiatric drugs will cover all that up and more children will be victims as perpetrators will know how to keep them quiet.

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    • Actually, a libertarian is a neo-con who doesn’t want to have to pay taxes or register guns. Libertarianism is much further to the right than republicanism, much further. There’s really no bit of modern liberalism in libertarianism. The libertarian party was formed to eliminate federal income tax, public schools, police forces, and turn everything over to the private sector. Because of the internet they even want to eliminate congress now because technology has made their purpose obsolete and a waste of tax dollars.

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    • I read a lot of comments left by people around the internet following sandy hook… Thousands of them. Most people, especially conservatives, have a false opinion that the democrats and the ACLU were the ones that tightened involuntary commitment laws and let people out of the asylums and such. Where do they get that backwards idea? It was the liberals/democrats who opposed all of that. Even the ACLU has worked to make it easier for people to be involuntarily committed. I remember reading something I think was posted by MFI a few years ago where the ACLU stated that is was a violation of mentally ill peoples rights to allow them to go untreated.

      Yet, people erroneously assume it’s the democrats who oppose these things and give the “crazies” their freedom.

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      • The ACLU is not a ally.
        Nor is the “left” at large.

        The philosophy of both personal freedom and personal responsibility is rare, and unfortunately not front-and-center with either party.

        Libertarian thought (not the political party, per say) probably comes closest to this ideal, especially on the subject of forced “treatment.”

        But thus far, neither party really gets it right.


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      • Actually, it was during Ronald Reagan’s term that many of the wards were emptied… The “hospitalized” (falsely incarcerated) were set free.

        Unfortunately, we have yet to really offer non-drug options… To help people get “weller than well” and avoid the vicious cycle of being locked up and/or living on the streets.

        There are some unlocked, non-drug centers, but not nearly enough.


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  2. There is a link between violence and depression-that is my personnal experience. Not all depressed people turn violent but if people become violent it is because they are deep-down terribly depressed: depressed about how they are being treated by society, by their nearest and dearest, by what gready governements are doing to our world, to animals etc. etc.

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