Literature Review Sample on Adolescent Depression as a Mental Disorder of Modern Era

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A literature review is a kind of academic work that aims to cover information, evaluate, and summarize knowledge on a specific subject by collecting already written items dedicated to a literature review topic of the selected investigation and analyzing them in accordance with the chosen issue. As the style of the work requires particular knowledge regarding a scientific problem, the paper has to be conducted in an academic manner relying mostly on arguments, key points, discussions, and conclusions of the selected references. A literature review can be either a stand-alone work type or a section included in a research paper, essay, thesis, or other variants of academic genres.

The significance of this type of research paper consists of revealing and assembling the main notions and ideas of various authors. Aside from merely collecting the published discoveries in certain scientific areas, literature review purports to summarize and systematize the gathered concepts into a clear, coherent, and comprehensible paper. Such a method of developing a scientific thought allows researchers to reevaluate and reinterpret discoveries concerning a specific issue that helps other investigators not to start their works from the beginning but to base them on the already proved arguments. Besides, literature reviews are useful regarding teaching students how to collect the needed pieces of information, search for credible sources, and summarize their most important aspects.

‘Adolescent Depression as a Mental Disorder of Modern Era’ Review Sample

Depression is a form of mental disorder that implies the presence of such symptoms like irritation, constant, prevailing, and unexplained sadness, changes in appetite, weight, a decreased interest in life, boredom, lack of motivation to lead an active lifestyle. The fact that other symptoms relate closely to one another creates a firm dependence of mental health on physiological conditions. The significance of investigating adolescent depression has been set as a central part of this work because contemporary scientific methods allow other researchers to discover the most successful solutions to the issue. This review aims to gather and analyze the information on the origins of teen depression, its impact on society, and variants suggesting how to deal with this global problem.

Etiology of Adolescent Depression

The etiology of adolescent depression relies on the same psychological and physiological backgrounds as adult depression that enables scholars to claim that there is no vivid difference between these two manifestations of oppressed mental state. According to Clayborne, Varin, and Colman: “Depression is highly prevalent in adolescence, with conservative estimates suggesting up to 12.5% of 12- to 17-year-olds experience symptoms of a major depressive episode in a 12-month period” (72). Thus, the problem is considered a large-scale and global phenomenon that occurs on a daily basis in all regions of the world notwithstanding cultural peculiarities, economy, and geographical position. Nevertheless, due to recent research, “depression and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents can be prevented. A number of recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses support the efficacy of existing preventive programs” (Cardamone-Breen et al. para. 9). Proceeding from this statement, it is essential that either adult or adolescent depression is a mental disorder that can be averted. Whereas physiological constituent can be only treated as a result of biological processes in the human organism, a psychological component is regarded as entirely preventable. Physiological origins of this mental issue can be explained by appealing to the biological processes engendering the decrease of vital hormones like endorphin, serotonin, or adrenaline that may result in the appearance of oppressed physical states.

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The Need for Preventative Programs to Deal with Depression

As new investigations claim, preventative programs and services dealing with the consequences of depression do allow experts to alleviate the most severe symptoms of depression and even cure a patient completely. Owing to the findings discovered by Neufeld et al., “14-year-old adolescents who had contact with mental health services in the past year had a greater decrease in depressive symptoms than those without contact (adjusted coefficient −1·68, 95% CI −3·22 to −0·14; p=0·033)” (120). Specifically, teens under the age of sixteen are claimed to be treated easier than more psychologically developed adolescents. As the investigations report, when children visit mental health services, they are less likely to be subject to depressive states. Subsequently, similar preventative health care programs are being founded not only to deal with the initial stages of depressive syndromes but also to treat the consequences.

The Role of Substance Addiction as a Cofactor of Depression

Furthermore, the problem of adolescent depression can be aggravated by substance addiction that is closely related to the issue of mental health disorders. A new statistical study of the correlation between addictions and depressive syndromes affirms that adolescents with depressions have extremely high risks of being addicted to drugs (Mason et al. 1-2). Having investigated 248 urban adolescents, the researchers concluded that health care programs for teens are helpful in most cases of early treatment. Provided that a child appeals to similar programs at the earliest stages of substance addiction, the chance to solve the issue depends on the time spent with psychiatrists and experts in narcology. The earlier psychological assistance is supplied, the more successful is the treatment. However, even though the connection between substance addiction and depressive states among adolescents is reported to be evident, yet scholars agree that the lack of socialization, parental care, and relationships with peers are contributing to the emergence of mental health disorders more significantly.

In the statistical experiment conducted by Breton and other researchers with the purpose of defining how many adolescents are prone to depressive states or already possessing them, the results appeared to be astonishingly positive because the majority of examined children were proved to having no depression. Thus, the investigation demonstrates that: “Among the 283 adolescents from the community, 70 (25%) were found to have light-to-severe depression and the other 213 (75%) had no depression. Among the 119 adolescents from the clinical population, 71 (60%) were found to have severe depression” (Breton et al. 11).

Without a doubt, the numbers in various statistics are severely dependent on the territory where the experiment took place because different political regimes, societal states, climatic conditions on par with many other influential factors are having a serious impact on similar results. Adolescents, being not psychologically and physiologically formed, tend to absorb the ambient conditions within which they are educated. Subsequently, in the cases when children are upbrought in the unpleasant psychological environment, the studies show that the risks of being subject to depressive states become higher.

Depression and Suicidal Inclinations

Apart from the already-mentioned aspects regarding depression in adolescents, it is substantial to underline the connection of melancholic conditions with the appearance of suicidal thoughts. The newest research warns that adolescents, who spent more time on social media and electronic devices like smartphones, were more likely to report mental health disorders, and adolescents who spent more time on non-screen activities (in-person social interaction, print media, sports/exercise, and attending religious services) were less likely (Twenge et al. 3).
Grounding hypotheses on the functioning of modern social media, scholars have reached a consensus that the time spent using smartphones, computers, and other anti-social activities are negatively contributing to the emergence of depressive syndromes, whereas outdoor activities including sports are alleviating the onsets of mental disorders. Owing to recent advancements in technological evolution, adolescents tend to employ gadgets to communicate with each other instead of meetings in reality. This situation often results in subdued and despondent mental conditions.

Peer Victimization and Its Impact on Adolescent Depression

Another issue concerning the etiology of depression in the adolescent period is peer victimization that occurs in all schools without exceptions. According to some researchers: “Adolescent peer victimization was associated with immediate and delayed elevations in anxiety and depression. The early intervention aimed at identifying and supporting victimized adolescents may prevent the development of these disorders” (Stapinski et al. 105-106). Investigations confirm that bullying at schools is one of the most rewarding issues that is causing inequalities among peers. Besides, such inequalities are directly leading to the appearance of depressions among those teenagers who become the target of victimization. The authors of scientific articles on psychology are certain that bullying affects the perception of normality and justice aiming to reduce the feeling of importance in a teenager’s attitude towards oneself. The lack of positive self-esteem and the absence of acceptance among peers is a crucial factor that brings forward many other problems ensuing from the realization of non-adoption.

Sleep problems, oppressed psychological state, and other concomitant issues are thought to be triggered by either peer or domestic violence exposure. Kliewer and Lepore summarize the data collected during the experiment on cognitive processes of adolescents who have witnessed violence: “Participants were 362 early adolescents (Mage = 12.45 years, SD = 0.59; range 11–14 years; 48.9 % male; 51 % Latino/a; 34 % black) from urban communities enrolled in a middle-school-based intervention study on the east coast of the United States” (507). In terms of this research, the majority of respondents have affirmed the fact of either observing violence or being an object of violence. As a result, scholars come to terms that there is a direct relation between witnessing violence and the aggravation of depressive syndromes.

Familial Bonds as Protective Measures

Different investigations have concluded that love and acceptance within families protect children from depressive states. As Cupito, Stein, and Gonzalez substantiate: “Past studies document that Latino familial cultural values (i.e., familism, affiliative obedience, and filial obligation) protect against depressive symptoms and promote academic resilience in adolescence” (1638). Nonetheless, the same research claims that even though Hispanic families are famous for traditional values, the problem is that there is gender discrimination, regarding which, female adolescents report being obliged to more household activities and possessing fewer freedoms than males. Gender disparities are one of the most spread issues causing teen depressions among the oppressed individuals. In the research based on 179 Latino adolescents, 52.9% of which comprise females in the age of fourteen, the authors of the article underline the aspect of gender inequalities in various cultures implying patriarchal standpoints. At any rate, the statistical data convince scholars of the necessity of educational programs for ethnic groups who live under unpleasant circumstances. In addition, the newest studies illustrate that there is an urgent need for establishing institutions that are helping discriminated individuals to cope with the aftermaths of gender stereotypes and biased attention.

The overviewed works evidence the negative impact of domestic violence, school bullying, victimization, lack of socialization, acceptance, and understanding of parents for adolescent’s part. All the listed factors are significantly contributing to the proliferation of their depression, poor academic success, and performance at school, substance addiction, and the progression of suicidal inclinations. Owing to the innovative technological progress, gadgets are becoming more popular among teenagers, so the depression in the current era is a modernized mental disorder provoked by anti-socialization and the lack of evaluation amongst peers. The literature review has combined academic papers with relatively similar concepts to prove the need for establishing official institutions specializing in psychological assistance. Consequently, this literature review has been conducted with an aim to investigate and assemble the selected pieces of information regarding the cause and effect of adolescent depressive states that is expected to bring into action more scientists involved in the studies and prevention of similar issues.

The present literature review sample demonstrates how the key concepts and purposes of this type of academic work are functioning. Use the given literature review topic as an example and piece of referral information. Precisely this work type should combine a specialized methodological search for a strictly limited circle of papers dedicated to a single subject. One of its main aims consists of summarizing the selected data to illustrate a distinguished standpoint that is likely to be helpful for future investigations. Adolescent depression is a ubiquitous and serious issue for experts in psychology to deal with, seeing that numbers of accompanying problems like suicide, violence, and substance addiction are causing not only mental problems but often bring lethal outcomes both for children and adults. This sample aims to cover the significant information on the selected subject to reveal its highlights and thereby induce scholars to activate more investigations.

Works Cited
Breton, Jean-Jacques, et al. “Protective Factors Against Depression and Suicidal Behaviour in Adolescence.” Can J Psychiatry, vol. 60, no. 2, ser. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 5–15. 1.
Cardamone-Breen, Mairead, et al. “A Single-Session, Web-Based Parenting Intervention to Prevent Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Randomized Controlled Trial.” J Med Internet Res, vol. 20, no. 4, Apr. 2018.
Clayborne, Zahra, et al. “Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: Adolescent Depression and Long-Term Psychosocial Outcomes.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 58, no. 1, 2018, pp. 72–79. Elsevier.
Cupito, Alexandra, et al. “Familial Cultural Values, Depressive Symptoms, School Belonging and Grades in Latino Adolescents: Does Gender Matter?” Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 24, no. 6, June 2015, pp. 1638–1649.
Kliewer, Wendy, and Stephen Lepore. “Exposure to Violence, Social Cognitive Processing & Sleep Problems in Urban Adolescents.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 44, no. 2, Feb. 2015, pp. 507–517.
Mason, Michael, et al. “Adolescent Depression and Substance Use: the Protective Role of Prosocial Peer Behavior.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Dec. 2018, pp. 1–10. Springer.
Neufeld, Sharon, et al. “Reduction in Adolescent Depression after Contact with Mental Health Services: a Longitudinal Cohort Study in the UK Author Links Open Overlay Panel.” The Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 4, no. 2, Feb. 2017, pp. 120–127.
Stapinski, Lexine, et al. “Peer Victimization during Adolescence: Concurrent and Prospective Impact on Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety.” Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, vol. 28, no. 1, Oct. 2013, pp. 105–120.
Twenge, Jean, et al. “Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time.” Clinical Psychological Science, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 3–17.

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