Adolescence: Contemporary Issues and Resources

Research the range of contemporary issues teenagers face today. In a 500-750-word paper, choose one issue (besides teen pregnancy) and discuss its effect on adolescent behavior and overall well-being. Include the following in your submission:

  1. Describe the contemporary issue and explain what external stressors are associated with this issue.
  2. Outline assessment strategies to screen for this issue and external stressors during an assessment for an adolescent patient. Describe what additional assessment questions you would need to ask and define the ethical parameters regarding what you can and cannot share with the parent or guardian.
  3. Discuss support options for adolescents encountering external stressors. Include specific support options for the contemporary issue you presented.

You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

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Adolescence: Contemporary Issues and Resources-Solution

Teenage Depression

Teenage depression is a common mental health issue in the United States. Daly (2022) indicates that the prevalence of depression among adolescents in the USA increased by 7.7% between 2009 and 2019. Depression is a mood disorder in which affected individuals experience symptoms such as extended periods of sadness, hopelessness, and diminished interest in performing previously pleasurable activities (Boland & Verduin, 2021). Teenagers with depression may also experience physical symptoms, such as changes in appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue, and low energy.(Adolescence Essay Sample)

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The external stressors of teenage depression vary greatly, including academic pressure, social media addiction, peer pressure, bullying, economic stress, trauma, and abuse. Lu (2019) established that negative school experiences and poor households contribute to adolescent depression. Anniko et al. (2019) also identified victimization, peer pressure, parental conflicts, difficulty with romantic relationships, and other school-related encounters as determinants of teenage depression.(Adolescence Essay Sample)

Assessment Strategies

The primary strategies for screening depression among teenagers include psychiatric interviews, standardized questionnaires, and physical examinations. During the psychiatric interview, a practitioner asks the client bout their symptoms, family history, social history, and substance use history to obtain crucial data to evaluate whether a client’s presentation meets the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for adolescent depression (Boland & Verduin, 2021). In addition, standardized questionnaires such as Patient Health Questionnaire for Adolescents (PHQ-A) or the Beck Depression Inventory can help quantify the severity of depression symptoms (Boland & Verduin, 2021). Additional assessment questions when screening for adolescent depression may include the client’s overall functioning, experiences, and perspectives. For example, a practitioner could ask the client about their physical health, including daily function, relationships with others, medical history, thoughts and feelings about their condition, and the nature of traumatic encounters.(Adolescence Essay Sample)

Generally, the ethical parameters might vary depending on the age, level or maturity, and nature of the information. However, a practitioner must uphold confidentiality and informed consent. Confidentiality and informed consent allow the client to develop trust with the practitioner and facilitates therapeutic alliance, which is central to definitive diagnosis and positive health outcomes (Boland & Verduin, 2021). In this case, a practitioner safeguards the client’s clinical information and does not disclose it without consent. In addition, depending on the level of maturity and age, parents have the right to access the client’s information and provide informed consent. Moreover, the practitioner should uphold a minor’s right to access mental healthcare without parental/guardian consent, which varies by state and age.(Adolescence Essay Sample)

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Support Options

Various support options exist for adolescents diagnosed with depression. Following diagnosis, teenagers can undergo psychotherapy and medications. Psychotherapy provides an ideal platform for practitioners to offer support and guidance. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two common types of therapy that are effective for depression in adolescents. CBT and DBT can help adolescents develop coping skills, improve their mood, and address underlying emotional and psychological issues (Wheeler, 2020). Equally, antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are commonly prescribed for depression in adolescents (Wheeler, 2020). The choice of antidepressants depends on various factors, including a client’s age and medical condition.

Moreover, various community support groups, such as Strength of Us, the Center for Young Women’s Health and Young Men’s Health, Teens Health, the National Alliance on Mental Health, and Reach Out, support teenagers experiencing depression (Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine [SAHM], n.d.). These resources provide ideal support and guideline for adolescents with depression, including learning about stressors and ways to cope with depression.(Adolescence Essay Sample)

Adolescence Essay Sample


Anniko, M. K., Boersma, K., & Tillfors, M. (2019). Sources of stress and worry in developing stress-related mental health problems: A longitudinal investigation from early-to mid-adolescence. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping32(2), 155-167.

Boland, R., & Verduin, M. (2021). Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Daly, M. (2022). Prevalence of depression among adolescents in the US from 2009 to 2019: analysis of trends by sex, race/ethnicity, and income. Journal of Adolescent Health70(3), 496-499.

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Lu, W. (2019). Adolescent depression: national trends, risk factors, and healthcare disparities. American Journal of Health Behavior43(1), 181-194.

Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. (No date). Mental Health Resources for Adolescents and Young Adults. Available at: (Accessed 5 February 2023)

Wheeler, K. (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice. Springer Publishing Company.

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