Depressive Symptoms in Adolescence: Consequences, Mechanisms, & School-based Prevention Efforts

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2016
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Psychologie
Advisor: Hautzinger, Martin (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2016-03-18
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
370 - Education
Keywords: Jugend , Depression , Prävention , Schüler
Other Keywords: Schule
soziale Information
akademische und soziale Konsequenzen
school environment
depression prevention
academic and social consequences
social information
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A substantial number of adolescents experience pronounced emotional, social, and behavioral problems during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Depressive symptoms are among the most common mental health problems during adolescence (Costello, Erkanli, & Angold, 2006), and are associated with high relapse and recurrence rates (Lewinsohn, Clarke, Seeley, & Rohde, 1994) as well as a variety of comorbid disorders (Bettge et al., 2008). Depressive symptomatology is further associated with a number of adjustment difficulties (e.g., interpersonal problems, academic difficulties), affecting young individuals’ lives in various environments. Whereas the association between the family environment and depressive symptoms in adolescence has received much attention in previous research, research interest in the role of the school environment has been less pronounced. Combining theoretical and methodological approaches from clinical psychology, educational science, and developmental psychology, the present dissertation aimed to contribute new and important insights into depressive symptomatology in adolescence, emphasizing the importance of school as a developmental context. Study 1, a large-scale investigation, addressed academic and social consequences of adolescent depression (and anxiety) in the school context. In Study 2, an intervention study, factors hypothesized to influence the effectiveness of (school-based) cognitive-behavioral depression prevention programs were investigated. Study 3, an experimental study, explored the underlying mechanisms of alterations in social information processing in adolescents with depressive symptomatology. The results revealed the disadvantaged position of adolescents with depressive symptoms regarding various domains of functioning as well as social information processing. Further, moderating factors that enhance (initial symptoms, motivation) or diminish (substance use) the effects of depression prevention programs were detected. The main findings of the three studies are summarized, and implications for future efforts and directions in clinical and educational research and practice are discussed.

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