Prevalence and severity of depression and related negative cognitive self-statements were assessed in a sample of 465 junior and senior high school learning disabled (LD) and seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) adolescents receiving special education services in public school resource room programs. Twenty-one percent of the adolescents sampled experienced severe depressive symptomatology. Some senior high females exhibited a more negative cognitive style than their male peers, although no differences were found at the junior high level. There were no differences in severity of depressive symptomatology and related dysfunctional cognitive self-statements between LD and SED students. Results indicate that depression is a prevalent condition among many LD and SED adolescents, a finding that warrants increased attention among special educators. Implications for expanding school-based identification and intervention procedures are discussed.
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