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Information adolescents are receiving about depression: An analysis of adolescent oriented magazines and high school health textbooks

25 July 2003


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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