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Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2006 Mar;15(1):10-8.

Characteristics of adolescent depression.

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Youth Specialty Service, Mental Health Division, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Depression is a common psychiatric disorder that is acknowledged to be increasing in disease burden. The rates of adolescent depression is particularly concerning as they continue to increase. The seriousness and pervasive effects of depression on young people's lives supports the view that research that extends the knowledge in this area is vital. This is a descriptive study of the characteristics of depression in a sample of 121 adolescents attending an outpatient specialist adolescent mental health service in New Zealand. The adolescents were required to complete two self-report measures to assess presence of depressive symptoms, severity of depression, and particular characteristics of the depression. The findings revealed that irritability was the most common characteristic along with other interpersonal and thought processing symptoms. It is important that mental health nurses are able to identify the specific characteristics of adolescent depression that may differ from adult depression in order to manage this patient population effectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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