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CLUSTERS OF BEHAVIORS AND BELIEFS PREDICTING ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR PREVENTION

Vol VIII, No. 2, 2008 Comments (0)

David PAUNESKU (a), Justin ELLIS (a) Joshua FOGEL (b), Sachiko A KUWABARA (c), Jackie GOLLAN (d), Tracy GLADSTONE (e), Mark REINECKE (d), Benjamin W. Van VOORHEES* (a)

(a) The University of Chicago, Chicago, USA
(b) Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA
(c) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA
(d) Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, USA
(e) Wellesley College, Wellesley, USA

Abstract

Risk factors for various disorders are known to cluster. However, the factor structure for behaviors and beliefs predicting depressive disorder in adolescents is not known. Knowledge of this structure can facilitate prevention planning. We used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth) data set to conduct an exploratory factor analysis to identify clusters of behaviors/experiences predicting the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) at 1-year follow-up (N=4,791). Four factors were identified: family/interpersonal relations, self-emancipation, avoidant problem solving/low self-worth, and religious activity. Strong family/interpersonal relations were the most significantly protective against depression at one year follow-up. Avoidant problem solving/low self-worth was not predictive of MDD on its own, but significantly amplified the risks associated with delinquency. Depression prevention interventions should consider giving family relationships a more central role in their efforts. Programs teaching problem solving skills may be most appropriate for reducing MDD risk in delinquent youth.

Keywords: adolescence, depression, prediction, prevention

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