The goal of the proposed research training plan is to facilitate the applicant's development of the skills and knowledge needed to advance her program of research focused on improving the management and treatment of depression in African American (AA) adolescents and reducing behavioral health disparities in this group. Adolescent depression is associated with a number of negative health consequences and mental health problems later in life. Despite the fact that effective treatments are available, many adolescents, especially AAs, do not receive adequate mental health services and are faced with managing their depressive symptoms alone or through informal supports. Untreated depression in AA adolescents is associated with high rates of substance abuse, academic failure, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. In order to develop strategies to reduce these health disparities, a better understanding is needed about how depression in AAs unfolds throughout adolescence. The purpose of this grounded theory study is to develop a theoretical framework that describes how AA adolescents understand their depression and its effects, manage their symptoms, and, in some cases, seek and use mental health services over the course of their adolescent years. Young adults aged 18-21 years who report having experienced depression during adolescence (ages 13-17) and adolescents aged 13-17 years currently in treatment for depression will be interviewed.

Public Health Relevance

African American adolescents with depression rarely use formal mental health services despite the fact that effective treatments are available. Untreated depression in this group is associated with increased risk for substance abuse, academic failure, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. This study will provide information about how African American adolescents understand their depression, manage their symptoms, and use or avoid services to inform the development of strategies to reduce health disparities in the group.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Nursing Science Review Committee (NRRC)
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Banks, David
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Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
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United States
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Oruche, Ukamaka M; Draucker, Claire Burke; Al-Khattab, Halima et al. (2015) The challenges for primary caregivers of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. J Fam Nurs 21:149-67
Oruche, Ukamaka M; Draucker, Claire; Alkhattab, Halima et al. (2014) Interventions for family members of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs 27:99-108
Draucker, Claire Burke; Al-Khattab, Halima; Hines, Dana D et al. (2014) Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Grounded Theory Research. Qual Rep 19: