The role of family support on adolescents suffering from major depressive disorder
Masilo, Vidoh Francina
MetadataShow full item record
Adolescent depression must be evaluated in the context of precipitants, stressors and academic, social and family functioning. Depression in adolescents can interfere with normal developmental tasks that involve academic, social and family functioning. Family support is partially important in the normal development of young people. The present study investigated the impact of family support among depressed adolescents. There has been increasing emphasis on interpersonal factors in adolescents' depression that contribute to recurrence of depression. There is no single unifying social model of depression but rather various theoretical developments that emphasize interpersonal cognitions and behaviours. Depressed individuals often function poorly in relationships with family members. However, negative attitudes by family members may precipitate relapses. A survey was conducted to explore the impact of family support on depressed adolescents. A. sample of 50 depressed adolescents was randomly selected from Weskoppies Adolescent Unit in Pretoria. There were equal numbers of males and females with ages ranging from 12 to 20 years. The mean age was 15.7 years. The research instruments consisted of the Differential Loneliness Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Family Functioning in Adolescents' Questionnaire. The main finding of the study was that the depressed adolescents showed social isolation from family members. Experts say social isolation for depressed patients is distressingly common. However, previous researchers have found that social isolation may allow a depressed person to worsen dramatically without intervention. The study did not support the hypothesis that adolescent with poor family relationship show higher levels of depression than those with good family relationship. This may suggest that family environment has a big impact on adolescent development. It has been reported that depressed children who live in families with high level of chronic conflicts are more likely to have relapses. There were no significant differences between male and female adolescents' level of depression. Factors such as social experiences and psychosocial stressors play an important role in adolescent' depression. Therefore, both male and female adolescents' level of depression depend on psychosocial and cognitive explanations. The findings in the study had several implications: As family relationship had no significant relation with adolescent depression, the findings revealed that family environment was a critical factor in adolescent development. These finding also suggest important guidelines for preventing(adolescent depression. The study also demonstrated the importance of how male and female adolescents deal with stress, as that might lead to depression. The study can also be used as a guide for therapeutic interventions with a depressed adolescent.
- Humanities