Children who rarely smile, laugh or hug a parent might be at risk for depression

Lopez-Duran recommended that parents seek professional help if their children showed more symptoms of depression such as sleep disturbances, poor appetite, sad mood, difficulty concentrating or irritability.University of Pittsburgh researchers who participated in the study were the author Thomas Olino, Maria Kovacs, Charles George, Amy Shaw and Daniel Gentzler.

Surprisingly, this seems to have a low level of happiness, in contrast to high levels of sadness, which may help explain why these children often develop depressive disorders, said Nestor Lopez-Duran, a UM associate professor of psychology and author of the study.

The results appear in the latest issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The mice showed bizarre behavior – such as eating fussy, overactive, or intestinal problems – while taking the drug, the study found.

Lopez-Duran said parents should not ignore the child’s sadness or frustration, only it must also be attentive to positive emotional displays of their children. If parents encourage their children to play, but their children do not seem to find happiness in a position of any activity, it could signal a red flag for depression.

A capacity reduction in positive emotions can prevent children effectively manage their negative moods, and may represent a source of vulnerability to depressive disorders, the researchers wrote.