Depression Screenings during Routine Visits in a Reproductive Healthcare Setting: Identifying Depressive Symptoms in African American Adolescent Males


Depression is a disorder which affects many youth, and only one third of adolescents receive mental health treatment for their depression. Yet, approximately 90% of adolescents visit their primary care providers on average 2 - 3 times per year. This number suggests the important role that primary care settings can play regarding the early diagnosis and treatment of depression during adolescence. This paper presents findings of clinically significant depressive symptoms in African American male adolescents receiving routine health care services within an adolescent reproductive health clinic. The adolescent reproductive health clinic is housed within a large urban, university-affiliated teaching hospital. 49 African American male adolescents (ages 13 to 19) completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) (Radloff, 1977), a brief depression screening questionnaire, as a part of their clinic visit. Results revealed higher rates of depressive symptoms in this subsample of African American male adolescents when compared to estimated prevalence rates of depression for adolescents as reported by large-scale studies and meta-analysis data. This supports the notion that primary and reproductive healthcare settings are viable settings for the identification of depressive symptoms, particularly among low-income, African American male adolescents. Risk factors, symptom presentation, and mental health stigma associated with this population are discussed. Psychosocial interventions and recommendations for the integration of primary healthcare and behavioral health consultation services are presented.

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Johnson, K. , Kelch-Oliver, K. , Smith, C. , Green, S. , Wallace, T. , Kottke, M. & Collins, M. (2012). Depression Screenings during Routine Visits in a Reproductive Healthcare Setting: Identifying Depressive Symptoms in African American Adolescent Males. Psychology, 3, 870-877. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.310131.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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