ERIC Number: ED273903
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: 0
Adolescent Depression: Issues of Prevalence, Phenomenology, and Nosology.
Hartman, Daniel Douglas
There appear to be four major schools of thought concerning adolescent depression: (1) depression as a clinical disorder is not possible before late adolescence or early adulthood; (2) depression in children and adolescents is a unique clinical entity, different from adult depression; (3) adolescents manifest depression in the same way as adults; and (4) depression as a disorder rarely occurs in early or middle adolescence. The current major issues in the study of adolescent depression involve conflicts concerning the diagnostic criteria for adolescent depression and its status as a valid clinical disorder. Although the prevalence of depression in adolescents has been extremely difficult to evaluate, recent research has revealed a homogeneous group of adolescents who manifest a related set of symptoms similar to an adult depressive disorder. While studies suggest that adolescent depression is more prevalent than traditionally thought, adolescent depressive disorder still remains only a descriptive concept and not a valid clinical disorder. Preliminary research is beginning to provide the evidence needed to establish adolescent depression as a distinct clinical disorder. The general state of methodology is improving the study of adolescent depression. Evidence derived from the research literature supporting the concept of adolescent depression as a clinical disorder is considerably stronger than it was a decade ago. Uncertainty regarding a valid and reliable means of diagnosis and classification remains the major obstacle to its empirical verification. Future efforts need to focus on developing more systematic methods of assessment and the adoption of a standardized set of diagnostic criteria. Six pages of references conclude the paper. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctor of Psychology Research Paper, Biola University, California.