Preprint / Version 1

Potential Causes of the Recent Rise in Adolescent Depression

Why Adolescents Today are More Depressed than Before


  • Jedidiah Kim St. Mark's School of Texas



Depression, Adolescent


Rates of adolescent depression, along with rates of adolescent self-harm and suicide, have risen significantly within the past two decades. Despite this disturbing rise with severe consequences, we still do not know exactly that this rise entails, or what it has been caused by. There are several strong correlates of adolescent depression as well as many hypotheses as to why we are observing this rise. This paper discusses these correlates as potential causes and views each one in the vulnerability-stress framework. The strongest correlates came out to be technology use, social media use, and substance abuse. This paper creates a comprehensive list of the potential causes of the recent rise in adolescent depression. However, it is also worth considering that increased mental health awareness has simply led to more adolescents presenting to hospitals with their condition, which has led to an apparent rise in rates of depression. Nevertheless, increased efforts are necessary to bring more cases to light as a significant portion of the cases of adolescent depression go unreported.

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