Prevalence Of And Risk Factors For Depressive Symptoms Among Young Adolescents

Prevalence Of And Risk Factors For Depressive Symptoms Among Young Adolescents

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Title of Study: “Prevalence of and risk factors for depressive symptoms among young adolescents” (Saluja, Iachan, Scheidt, Overpeck, Sun, & Giedd, 2004).

Problem: “Major depressive disorder (MDD) accounts for greater mortality, morbidity, and financial costs than any other psychiatric disorder (Birmaher et al., 1996)…As underrecognized and undertreated as depression is among adults, it is even more among children and adolescents. Studies have estimated that depression affects up to 8.3% of older adolescents in the United States (Murray & Lopez, 1996)…Depressive symptoms among youths are often attributed to the normal stress of adolescence; misdiagnosed as primary conduct, attentional, or substance abuse disorders; or seen as a stage the youths are going through…Depression is associated with poor health behaviors and social challenges. In additional to an increased risk of suicide, youths who are depressed are at a higher risk for mental disorders such as anxiety, conduct disorders, and substance abuse…Recognizing depression as early as possible could be a critical step to reducing the prevalence of depression among older individuals, managing depression more effectively, and preventing negative outcomes…Because most studies on adolescent depression have focused on high school students, the prevalence of depressive symptoms in younger adolescents is not well established” (Saluja et al., 2004).

Purpose: The purpose of this study was “to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and risk behaviors associated with depressive symptoms in a nationally representative, cross-sectional sample of young adolescents” (Saluja et al., 2004).

The research study I chose to read this week was on the “Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Depressive...


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...tic complaints among adolescents (Saluja et al., 2004). It is unfortunate that mental illnesses, particularly depression tends to go unrecognized in health care even though it can be present in all ages. I am a huge advocate for preventive care and early interventions. Although depression in adults and adolescent have been studied, I don’t feel there is enough education and emphasizes on recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression in adolescents in the health care environment. The potential influence on nursing practice as healthcare providers involves screening for the onset of depression early, so we can address it appropriately, and help young adolescents have a better health outcome as an adult. Building on from previous studies, future studies should focus on the outcomes of early screening and implementing effective intervention at the middle school level.

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