As per a recent Canadian study, almost 15 pct of the preschoolers suffer from high levels of depression and anxiety.
The five-year investigation showed that children with atypically high depression and anxiety levels are more likely to have mothers with a history of depression.
"As early as the first year of life, there are indications that some children have more risks than others to develop high levels of depression and anxiety," said first author Sylvana M. Cote, a professor at the Universite de Montreal's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.
"Difficult temperament at five months was the most important predictor of depression and anxiety in the children," Cote added.
During the study, the researchers examined 1,758 children born in Quebec.
"We found that lifetime maternal depression was the second most important predictor of atypically high depressive and anxiety problems during preschool years," said Cote.
"Our study is the first to show that infant temperament and lifetime maternal depression can lead to a high trajectory of depressive and anxiety problems before school entry.
"It is critical that preventive interventions be experimented with infants who risk developing depressive and anxiety disorders.
"Health professionals should target such high risk children at infancy, as well as their parents, to have a long-term impact on their well-being," Cote added.
The study is published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.