Home Institution

University of Michigan

Publication Date

Spring 2018


Objective: This paper reviews individual, familial, peer, and societal factors influencing adolescent depression in developed countries. Background: Depression usually onsets at adolescence and contributes to high DALYs. Since depression is treatable, efforts should be made to reduce its prevalence and effect. Methods: The research consisted of looking at literature relevant to the topic and age group and conducting interviews with experts who know about and have worked with adolescent depression. Discussion: Adolescents begins at the onset of puberty, allowing different biological factors such as genetics, stress of puberty, and cognitive changes to increase vulnerability to depression. Adolescents who had substance abuse problems and/or held stronger neuroticism personality trait were more susceptibility to depression. Unhealthy familial relations and peer relations was also linked to depression risk. Negative life event often predated depression onset. Living with a parent who had depression increased chances of depression for their offspring. The performance-driven society puts pressure on adolescents that when unable to cope or extrinsically motivated can increase risk of depression. There could be possible risks with social media in centralizing one depression definition, increasing comparing behaviors lowering self-esteem, and difficulty distinguishing true reality. Stigma and lack of adolescent-focused care can prevent adolescents from seeking and getting the help that they need. Conclusion: The paper looked at a few factors that influence depression. Different factors interact changing depression vulnerability. Possible next steps are looking at these factors and how to decrease the risk to improve adolescent depression prevalence.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Cognition and Perception | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Community Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Mental and Social Health | Patient Safety | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Public Health