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Soc Work. 2006 Jan;51(1):49-58.

Help-seeking behaviors and depression among African American adolescent boys.

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School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


This study examined the help-seeking behaviors of depressed, African American adolescents. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 18 urban, African American boys, ages 14 to 18, who were recruited from community-based mental health centers and after-school programs for youths. Interviews covered sociodemographic information, questions regarding depressive symptomotology, and open-ended questions derived from the Network-Episode Model--including knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to problem recognition, help seeking, and perceptions of mental health services. Most often adolescents discussed their problems with their family and often received divergent messages about problem resolution; absent informal network resolution of their problems, professional help would be sought, and those receiving treatment were more likely to get support from friends but were less likely to tell friends that they were actually receiving care. Implications for social work research and practice are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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