Childhood Depression : A Serious Disorder Among Adolescents

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Depression has become a serious disorder among adolescents, affecting 11% of American teens (Avenevoli, Swendsen, He, Burstein, & Merikangas, 2015). Adolescent depression is associated with impairments in various important psychosocial areas, such as school, peer, and family functioning (Jaycox et al., 2009). As adolescence is an important time for development and a very vulnerable time, it is important to treat anything that may cause impairments as quickly and as effectively as possible. It is also important to understand the causes of the teen’s depression when working towards recovery. Research has found that adolescents are consequentially at risk of depression when exposed to an adverse family environment, which can include a lack…show more content…
Family-based treatments can include psychoeducation and parent training, family therapy including the whole family, or some combination of these interventions (Stark et al., 2012). Family-based interventions that target improving parenting and family systems can reduce the risk to which teens are exposed (Kumpfer and Alvardo, 2003). Literature has suggested looking at adolescent depression in terms of a family systems model due to the diverse factors that may contribute, such as parenting style, familial environment, attachment support, and conflict (Restifo & Bögels, 2009). A systematic approach works to hypothesize how multiple factors may or may not influence or maintain the development of depression and works to decipher the effects of interacting factors (Restifo & Boges, 2009). Family therapy is also appealing for adolescents because of its brief nature, targeting adolescents’ general dislike of therapy, and because it focuses on change within the whole family, depathologizing the adolescent (Pruitt, 2007). Many studies have found the use of family therapy to be effective in treating and decreasing depressive symptoms in adolescents. One type of family treatment used is Attachment Based-Based Family Therapy (ABFT), due to the theory that adolescent depression can
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