Depression and Youth

by gabriel_heuvelink on April 24, 2014 - 3:24pm

 In the first chapter of “Handbook of Depression in Children and Adolescents” by John R.Z Abela and Benjamin L. Hankin, entitled Causes, Treatment and Prevention, the authors explore the issue of depression in our modern society, indeed claiming that depression rates in children and adolescents have been going only up, and that at age 14, 9% of adolescents have reported a severe episode of depression (Lewinsohn, Hops, Roberts, Seeley & Andrews, 93).  The implications of this mental health issue reach far beyond our teenage years, with as much as 84% (Harringotn, Rutter, &Frombonne, 1996) of the youth who experience depression go through it again in adulthood. Unfortunately, as the authors underline, research into depression has more often than not used adult samples. This poses a problem because adults and youth do not have the same cognition, emotion, reactions and physical development as adults, leading into a gap in the research that excludes children and adolescents. However, there is hope for treatment and prevention of depression in youth, with new studies being led to find these new practices. The authors then introduce the book in its entirety as a collection of literature hoping to enumerate the different approaches used to treat depression in youth. The uniqueness of the book, the authors claim, resides in its interdisciplinary approach to depression, instead of focusing on only one aspect of it using not only theories, but empirical data as well.  The book is split into 5 parts, focusing on theories, empirical date, treatment, prevention and the effect of the previous four parts on specific populations.

Harrington, R., Rutter, M., &Frombonne, E. (1996) Developmental Pathways in depression: Multiple meanings, antecedents, and endpoints. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 601- 616

Lewinsohn, P.M., Hops, H., Roberts, R.E., Seeley, J.R., &Andrews, J.A. (1993). Adolescent Psychopathology: I. Prevalence and incidence of depression and other DSM-III-R disorders in high school students, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, 102, 133-144.

I chose to read this book because it will be incredibly useful to me when writing my term paper about depression and youth. The book I itself is a bit old, however the concepts it uses are still valid. Furthermore, this book focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to depression, which is a requirement in my paper. This is why I read this book chapter and why I thought it would be useful to me. I am fascinated by this topic because depression in youth has only recently been explored as an issue in our society, yet it is very prevalent. Even rarer is the concept of depression in teen boys, a silent killer that takes too many lives every year without notice. 

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