Psychological barriers to antidepressant use in adolescents
by Cohane, Geoffrey H., Ph.D., CLARK UNIVERSITY, 2008, 84 pages; 3334135


This study was designed to test a theoretical model of the psychological barriers to antidepressant use in a sample of 204 high school students. This model was informed by a series of 8 open-ended, qualitative interviews of adolescents around their views of antidepressants. Very little research has addressed adolescent attitudes towards psychotropic medications, and we therefore know very little about what sorts of factors might disincline young people from seeking psychiatric help for problems like depression. The model, created from existing theory and research related to help-seeking, shame, depression etiology beliefs, masculinity, and coping, proposed ten "candidate" barriers presumed to help predict resistance to taking antidepressants. Given the wealth of empirical research demonstrating more negative attitudes towards help-seeking and emotional disclosure in adult men, I was particularly interested in the effects of gender and adherence to masculinity norms on resistance to antidepressant use in our sample of adolescents. In addition, largely because of seminal and widely accepted theories that stress the development of the identity in adolescence, I focused on the psychological meanings—in terms of identity, affect, and development—of antidepressant use. Results demonstrated that the model accounted for over 30% of the variance in resistance to taking antidepressants, and that barriers related to the identity and affect-related meanings of taking antidepressants were the most robust predictors. Notably, masculinity and gender were not significantly correlated with resistance. The results have implications for how adolescents view help-seeking, psychotropic medications, and depression and may ultimately contribute to the development of interventions designed to increase this population's utilization of mental health services.

AdviserMichael E. Addis
SourceDAI/B 69-10, Dec 2008
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsClinical psychology
Publication Number3334135
Adobe PDF Access the complete dissertation:

» Find an electronic copy at your library.
  Use the link below to access a full citation record of this graduate work:
  If your library subscribes to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database, you may be entitled to a free electronic version of this graduate work. If not, you will have the option to purchase one, and access a 24 page preview for free (if available).

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With over 2.3 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

The database includes citations of graduate works ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Of the 2.3 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 1.9 million in full text formats. Of those, over 860,000 are available in PDF format. More than 60,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.