Depression and Age Related Issues Research Paper

  • Length: 3 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #78887396

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Depression in the Lifespan

Depression is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon affecting multiple age cohorts. It is therefore important to understand what differential age-related risk factors account for the manifestation of depressive symptoms, whether precipitating factors are genetic or environmental, also how specific treatment interventions might change depending on age-related needs or age-appropriate interventions. A developmental approach to depression can provide some insight into how clinicians can improve treatment interventions and promote a more nuanced and realistic understanding of the disorder. The symptoms of depression are also likely to be different for different age cohorts, in part due to developmental differences, but also to biological differences in brain structure and chemistry, life experiences and socialization. This topic is important to both clinical and counseling psychology because reframing depression from a developmental perspective can shed light on etiology and best practices.

Review of Literature

Literature has generally not focused on a developmental theoretical perspective, even though early research showed that "socioemotional, cognitive, linguistic, social-cognitive, neurobiological, and neurochemical" domains all need to be "taken into account" when investigating depression (Cicchetti, Nurcombe & Garber, 1992, p. 1). Moreover, researchers have yet to devise reliable methods of measuring depression in early childhood, instead reverting to the misapplication of adult surveys and instruments that might be irrelevant for younger age groups. Simmons, Wilkinson & Dubicka (2015) note that, "since the recognition of youth depression, numerous instruments have been developed, but there is little consensus regarding their use," (p. 230). Increased consensus and more finely tuned instrumentation for measuring and diagnosing depression in young people would tremendously help evolve more efficacious interventions.

More recent research on the application of Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) to depression reveals potential areas where developmental psychology can converge with other frameworks for understanding mood disorders in childhood and adolescence. IPT in particular might be indicated for young cohorts to the proven efficaciousness of the modality in general: deMello, Mari, Bacaltchuk & Neugebauer (2005) performed a meta-analysis and found that IPT leads to results comparable to medical interventions for depression, and in fact the results "did not increase when combined with medication," (deMello, et al., 2005, p. 75). This would suggest methods of intervention that avoid the use of pharmacological treatments. IPT also offers a "time limited" method of helping young people, who may benefit from a targeted and brief approach. deMello, et al. (2005) also found that IPT proved more efficacious when…

Sources Used in Document:


Cicchetti, D., Nurcombe, B. & Garber, J. (1992). Developmental approaches to depression. Development and Psychopathology 4(1992): 1-3.

deMello, M.F., Mari, Jdj., Bacaltchuk, J. & Neugebauer, R. (2005). A systematic review of research findings on the efficacy of interpersonal therapy for depressive disorders. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 255(2): 75-82.

Hyde, M., Hanson, L. M., Chungkham, H. S., Leineweber, C. & Westerlund, H. (2015). The impact of involuntary exit from employment in later life on the risk of major depression and being prescribed anti-depressant medication. Aging & Mental Health 1(5): p381-389.

Simmons, M., Wilkinson, P. & Dubicka, B. (2015). Measurement Issues: Depression measures in children and adolescents. Child & Adolescent Mental Health 20(4): 230-241.

Cite This Research Paper:

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