mental vulnerabilities and social environments that do not provide sufficient supports and protection creates a high potential for harm.


Between 20 and 30 percent of adolescents have one major depression episode before they reach adulthood, and the rate increases significantly after puberty. Depression is a serious and potentially debilitating health problem, and it is also linked to virtually all other prevalent adolescent disorders. David Brent, Daniel Pine, and Bruce Compas addressed some of the key factors and interactions that influence the onset and course of adolescent depression, interventions and treatments that are currently available, and thoughts about future directions for research, treatment, and prevention.

Brent showed a chart that illustrates the interrelationships among the various factors that are linked to the development of depression, which served not only as a useful aid to understanding adolescent depression, but also provided a tool for understanding other risks that were discussed during the workshop (see Figure 3-1). Genetic and biological factors—including hormone levels, family adversity, temperament, and the effects of parenting—all play a role in depression, as well as other adolescent problems.

Brent asserted that while some professionals focus on binge drinking, others on depression, and still others on eating disorders, distinctions

FIGURE 3-1 Overview of risk and protective factors.

SOURCE: Brent (2005).

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