Journal article

Exploring adolescents’ causal beliefs about depression: A qualitative study with implications for prevention

KE Cairns, MBH Yap, A Rossetto, PD Pilkington, AF Jorm

Mental Health and Prevention | Published : 2018


Objective: This study qualitatively explored adolescents’ causal beliefs about depression. Method: Semi-structured focus groups were conducted with 38 Australian secondary students (25 females, 13 males) aged 15–17 years. Adolescents were asked an open-ended question about the causes of depression, followed by a series of prompts about common causes of illness. A deductive thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes within the data set. Results: Participants emphasised potentially mutable psychosocial causes of depression (e.g., exposure to stressors, lifestyle) over biogenetic factors (e.g., genetics, chemical imbalance). Stigmatising explanations of depression were rare, although a ..

View full abstract