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Date of Award

7-25-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Jay Thomas

Second Advisor

Michel Hersen

Abstract

Adolescents are increasingly being diagnosed with depression. Research suggests beneficial treatment results when clients are educated about their difficulties (Brent, Poling, McKain, & Baugher, 1993). However, research exploring adolescents' knowledge of their psychological diagnosis, specifically depression, is lacking. This dissertation explores common information adolescents receive from mainstream sources about depression. Reviewing adolescent magazines and high school health textbooks as well as interviewing teachers indicated adolescents are receiving inconsistent information about depression, seeking treatment, and suicide. Since adolescents accumulate knowledge about mental health at school, their ability to identify depressive symptoms or crisis situations is decreased. Additionally, adolescents who identified depressive or crisis symptoms, seeking help might be confusing or overwhelming. Overall, information created specifically for adolescents regarding depression is deficient.

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