Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Paul Siverman

Commitee Members

Cameo Borntrager, Duncan Campbell, Daniel Denis, Betsy Bach


Adolescents, Depression, Parenting, Perceptions, Psychoeducation


University of Montana


Adolescent depression is a mental health disorder that occurs during the teenage years and involves chronic and persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in usual activities, as well as a broad range of additional physical and emotional symptoms. These maladaptive symptoms have repercussions across all areas of adolescents' functioning. One area that is affected when an adolescent is depressed is how the adolescent perceives his/her world, experiences, and situations. Research demonstrates that depressed adolescents are likely to perceive a wide variety of events and situations in overly negative ways, including their parents' parental styles and behaviors. One avenue that has been shown to be effective in helping individuals increase their awareness of their depressive symptoms and improve their perceptions is psychoeducation. The present study sought to examine the effects of brief psychoeducation on adolescents' perceptions of their depressive symptoms and their parents' parenting behaviors. Participants were divided into treatment and control groups. Both groups completed measures designed to assess depressive symptoms, their parents' parenting behaviors, their sense of empowerment, and current affect. The treatment group then participated in a psychoeducational component designed to increase knowledge and awareness of depressive symptoms and how these symptoms may affect perceptions. The control group participated in a psychoeducational component not relevant to depressive symptoms. Both groups then completed the measures for a second time. It was hypothesized that participants in the treatment group would demonstrate significant decreases in depressive symptoms, negative parental perceptions, and negative affect, and significant increases in positive parental perceptions, empowerment, and positive affect relative to participants in the control group. The findings pertaining to depressive symptoms were marginally significant and the findings concerning empowerment were significant. Findings regarding affect and parental perceptions were not significant, with the exception of the negative parental characteristic of Coercion. Results highlight the utility of cognitively-based brief psychoeducation in helping adolescents understand their depressive symptoms and increasing their sense of empowerment.



© Copyright 2010 Mallory McBride