Depression Prevention

The article “Screening for Depression Prevention: Identifying high risk girls for future depression” appeared in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The authors of this study, Seeley, Stice, and Rohde, examined whether there are specific risk factors among adolescent girls that could predict the development of future depression. Their motivation to better understand these risk factors involved the need to design and implement more effective prevention programs. The researchers gave 496 adolescent girls a series of questionnaires over the period of 4 years.

This longitudinal design allowed researchers to determine which risk factors were most likely to lead to major depression among those girls that developed the condition within the time span of the study. Poor school performance, lack of parental support, and the early signs of depressive symptoms were identified as the most concerning indicators that future depression was likely. With this knowledge, program developers can now identify adolescents most at risk for depression and target these risk factors specifically.

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The girls in this study had to dedicate the time necessary to fill out at least four sets of questionnaires across a period of four years. The study materials were lengthy because there were several measures involved, but the participates were compensated for their time with money. I would have enjoyed being a part of this study because I would have gotten paid for the simple act of being honest about my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. The participants were assessed in their schools or in their homes and confidentiality was guaranteed.

The girls who voluntarily participated in this study contributed a great deal to the knowledge base on depression and what programs are likely to effectively prevent it. While a monetary reward is a nice incentive, the opportunity to contribute to the worthy cause of preventing mental illness is much more enticing. Seeley, John R. , Stice, Eric, and Rohde, Paul. “Screening for Depression Prevention: Identifying high risk girls for future depression. ” Journal of Abnormal Psychology February 2009: 161-170.

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