Adolescent depression is a prevalent and serious mental health issue that affects many young individuals. It’s a condition characterized by a persistent low sense of self-worth and can have a lasting impact on a teenager’s life. While various factors can contribute to adolescent depression, recent research sheds light on the role of parental feedback and its influence on teenagers struggling with depression. Let’s look into the study and the key findings of the study in detail.
About the Study
A recent study conducted by Lisanne van Houtum and her colleagues from Leiden University in the Netherlands delved into the emotional and brain responses of adolescents dealing with depression when receiving feedback from their parents. This study aimed to understand how adolescents with depression react to both negative and positive feedback from their parents, shedding light on their emotional and cognitive responses.
The study involved 20 Dutch adolescents aged 13.5 to 18, diagnosed with either dysthymia (a mild, chronic form of depression) or major depressive disorder (a severe, acute form of depression). Additionally, 59 healthy adolescents aged 12 to 18 without depression were recruited. The adolescents’ parents were also invited to participate in the study, creating a comprehensive view of the parent-child interactions.
Impact of Feedback Words
During the study, the adolescents were informed that their parents would select feedback words describing their personality, including both positive and negative descriptors. Each feedback word was introduced with the phrase ‘Your mother/father thinks you are…’. After reviewing these feedback words, the adolescents reported their mood. Following this task, they were asked to recall as many of the feedback words as they could in a span of 2 minutes.
The study revealed that both depressed adolescents and their healthy counterparts experienced changes in their mood after receiving criticism and praise, in comparison to neutral feedback. Criticism led to a decrease in mood, while praise resulted in an increase in mood. However, there was a notable difference between the two groups. Depressed adolescents exhibited a blunted increase in mood after receiving praise compared to their non-depressed peers.
The research findings emphasize the importance of understanding how adolescents with depression respond to parental feedback. Adolescents with depression tend to be more sensitive to criticism, as they often view themselves negatively. They may rely less on their self-perceptions when faced with parental criticism.
Takeaway for Parents
For parents, this study offers valuable insights. Identifying the personality traits and characteristics that adolescents value about themselves can be key to improving their mood. Parents can play a crucial role in supporting their child’s self-esteem by recognizing and acknowledging these positive attributes. By fostering a positive self-view in their children, parents can potentially aid in the treatment and recovery process of adolescent depression.
Winding it up
In conclusion, adolescent depression is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including parental feedback. Understanding how adolescents with depression react to criticism and praise can help parents provide the necessary support and encouragement for their children to develop a positive self-view and navigate their way toward recovery.