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ERIC Number: EJ1162082
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2073-7629
Preventing Depression in Adolescence through Social and Emotional Learning
Reicher, Hannelore; Matischek-Jauk, Marlies
International Journal of Emotional Education, v9 n2 p110-115 Nov 2017
Depression is a major and increasingly frequent health problem among young people (WHO, 2017). Adolescence is a peak time for the first onset of depression (Seeley & Lewinsohn, 2008). However despite discovering high prevalence rates among young people in recent studies , teachers tend to overlook depressive symptoms in adolescents, while peers are not able to recognize such symptoms appropriately (Reicher, 2003). On the basis of the literature and their own research; the authors propose systematic social-emotional learning (SEL) in schools as a vehicle for the prevention of depression through the following processes (Reicher, 2017; Reicher & Matischek-Jauk, in press). They include: (1) SEL-programs help to improve classroom climate and reduce bullying (Matischek-Jauk, Krammer, & Reicher, 2017); (2) SEL fosters a caring community of learners; students experience themselves as valued, contributing, influential members of a classroom or school (Reicher, 2010b); (3) SEL-programs support teachers in building caring and responsive relationships with their students. Teachers are "on the front line of prevention science" (Dana & Hooser, 2015, p. 89). The incorporation of knowledge on social-emotional development and SEL content in teacher preparation programs is urgently needed (Talvio, 2014); (4) SEL facilitates insight into the emotional world of adolescents through social exchange, talking or creative activities like expressive writing. This may be an opportunity to improve the otherwise difficult recognition and understanding of mental health problems by teachers and peers; (5) SEL fosters social participation: To combat the stigma of mental health problems we need developmentally appropriate anti-stigma interventions. Systematic social-emotional learning can play a crucial part in this process; and (6) SEL helps to improve social and emotional competences. This is important for depressed young people and non-depressed peers to cope effectively with developmental tasks. Both are empowered to express understanding and help in emotional crises.
Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health. Old Humanities Building (OH) Room 241, University of Malta, MSD 2080, Malta. Tel: +356-2340-3014; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A