By Elise Viebeck - 07/24/12 06:10 PM EDT
"It is crucial that we provide adolescent girls the coping skills and social supports they need to avoid the onset of depression," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a statement, "and to offer behavioral health services that foster resilience and recovery if they experience it."
The analysis took cues from the American Psychiatric Association, defining a "major depressive episode" as a period of depressed mood that lasts for two weeks or longer and includes symptoms such as trouble sleeping.
The study did not offer speculation on why girls seemed more likely than boys to report or experience depression, but revealed that older girls are more likely than younger ones to receive treatment for the condition.
Forty-two percent of 17-year-old girls with depression received treatment, according to SAMHSA, compared with 32.4 percent of depressed 12-year-old girls.
"Intervention efforts targeting adolescents in middle school may help ameliorate depression onset, as well as reduce depression recurrence through the life course," the study stated.