How African American Adolescents Manage Depression: Being With Others

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BACKGROUND:African American (AA) adolescents with depression face serious negative outcomes. Despite racial/ethnic disparities in treatment utilization, few studies have explored how AA adolescents manage their depression.OBJECTIVE:To describe common ways AA adolescents manage depressive symptoms through relationships with people in their lives.DESIGN:Qualitative descriptive methods were used to analyze the narratives of 22 AA young adults who had been depressed as adolescents and 5 AA adolescents in treatment for depression.RESULTS:A typology describing the varied ways AA adolescents manage their depressive symptoms through interactions with other people was constructed and labeled Being With Others. The five categories in the typology are keeping others at bay, striking out at others, seeking help from others, joining in with others, and having others reach out.CONCLUSIONS:Clinicians might use the Being With Others typology to guide discussions related to detecting, assessing, and treating AA adolescents with depression.

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