Adolescence: Contemporary Issues and Resources
Research the range of contemporary issues teenagers face today. In a 500-750-word paper, choose one issue (besides teen pregnancy) and discuss its effect on adolescent behavior and overall well-being. Include the following in your submission:
Describe the contemporary issue and explain what external stressors are associated with this issue.
Outline assessment strategies to screen for this issue and external stressors during an assessment for an adolescent patient. Describe what additional assessment questions you would need to ask and define the ethical parameters regarding what you can and cannot share with the parent or guardian.
Discuss support options for adolescents encountering external stressors. Include specific support options for the contemporary issue you presented.
You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
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Depression is one of the significant current issues affecting teenagers in the US. Teen depression is a severe psychological health issue that makes teenagers experience persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities (Li, et al, 2018). Hence, this mental problem undermines how teenagers think, feel, and behave. It can as well lead to various physical, emotional, functional issues. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 4.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 years will experience different forms of depression in 2020. Adolescent females are affected by this mental issue more compared to males. Despite the high number of teens involved with the mental health issue, a large percentage of them are not receiving any mental health treatment. Teenagers suffering from depression are exposed to suicide, physical ill-health, social exclusion, and discrimination.
Several external stressors lead to teen depression. One of them includes the issues that impact a teen’s self-esteem negatively, such as long-term bullying. Teens who experience verbal and physical bullying in a prolonged period are more likely to develop various depressive symptoms such as poor self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, loneliness and insecurity (Li, et al, 2018). Bullying is a significant issue in the US. Besides, the increase in internet usage among teenagers in the current society has exposed many teens to cyberbullying (Muiruri, 2021). Secondly, family history and family issues also contribute to teen depression. For instance, teens from families with a parent or other blood relatives with depression, alcohol use problems, or bipolar disorder are more likely to develop mental health issues. Besides, teenagers from families experiencing issues, such as family conflicts, parental divorce, and the death of loved ones are more likely to develop depressive symptoms (Zisk et al, 2019). Thirdly, teens who have been the victim or witness of violence, such as physical or sexual abuse, are at higher risk of becoming depressed. Besides, a teen who has experienced sexual abuse tends to develop various signs of depression such as persistent sadness, changes in sleep or appetite, and also tends to withdraw from normal activities (Li, et al, 2018).
A mental healthcare professional can use various assessment strategies to screen for this issue. One of them includes psychological evaluation. In this assessment strategy, the doctor or mental health professional can talk with the teen suspected to have a mental issue about thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Besides, the doctor may include other depression assessment instruments, such as the behavior assessment system for children (BASC). This instrument is designed to examine the emotional disorders, behavioral problems, and personality constructs in individuals between 2 to 21 years. It focuses on assessing behavior from diverse perspectives, including teacher, parent, and self (Sonne, et al 2020). The doctor can evaluate the results generated by this instrument to identify the emotional, personality, and behavioral depressive symptoms the adolescent patient might have developed and even the external stressors. Secondly, the doctor can do a physical exam and ask in-depth questions to screen the issue and the external stressors. Sometimes, depression can be linked to an underlying physical health problem. Thus, the assessor can use a head-to-toe assessment strategy to identify the physical anomalies associated with the issue and the external stressors.
The assessor or mental health professional can ask various questions during the assessment. For instance, the assessor can ask the patient if he/she has ever been a victim or witness of physical or sexual abuse, bullying, or family conflicts. Also, the assessor can ask the parent if the adolescent patient has any mental health conditions such as bipolar, anxiety or personality disorder. Besides, the assessor can ask whether there is a parent or a blood relative with depression or any mental issue leading to teen depression in the family.
Patient confidentiality is one of the ethical parameters restricting what patient information the healthcare professional can and cannot share with the parent or guardian. It requires healthcare professionals to seek the patient’s consent before sharing the information with the parent or guardian, justify the purpose for using confidential information, and share the personal information when it is indispensable (Goodman, 2022).
One of the support actions that can be taken to help adolescents experiencing external stressors includes educating the family members about the adolescent’s mental condition and helping them learn how to live with the depressed teen. This will help prevent depressed adolescents from developing more severe depressive symptoms or other related health conditions. The family members can offer great support to the patient and help him/her manage the mental health condition (Zisk et al., 2019). Lack of family support among depressed teens has contributed to various problems, including suicide. Contemporary issues, including cyberbullying, have contributed to teen depression. This issue can be addressed by establishing mentorship programs in schools where students can be educated on how to deal with the stressors such as cyberbullying (Muiruri, 2021). This will help identify teenagers at risk of depression and provide them with customized help.
Teen depression is one of the significant issues affecting adolescents nowadays. This mental issue can be caused by various external stressors, including bullying, low self-esteem, and family history and family issues. Doctors or mental health professionals can conduct physical exams or psychological evaluations to identify the problem. Various supports can be implemented to address the issue. They include the establishment of a family support system and mentorship programs in schools and the community.
Goodman, K. W. (2022). Confidentiality and Privacy. Guidance for Healthcare Ethics Committees, 85. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nmtYEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA85&dq=patient+confidentiality+and+privacy&ots=HeP5y_EdPw&sig=prPFJbqqHWBNsZ-4PH19h7iETdw
Li, Y., Li, D., Li, X., Zhou, Y., Sun, W., Wang, Y., & Li, J. (2018). Cyber victimization and adolescent depression: The mediating role of psychological insecurity and the moderating role of perceived social support. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 10-19. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740918305802
Muiruri, M. F. G. (2021). How Cyber Activity Influences Depression and Anxiety in Teenagers. https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/10521/
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2020). Teen Depression. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/teen-depression/index.shtml [/cmppp_restricted]
Sonne, J. L., Chan, N., Anspikian, A. M., Lincourt, T., Cosanella, T. M., Young, S. G., … & Thornton, K. S. (2020). Interpretation problems with the BASC-3 SRP-A F Index for patients with depressive disorders: An initial analysis and proposal for future research. Psychological Assessment, 32(9), 896. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-43036-001