Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Depression in adolescence; Depression, Mental -- Sex factors;


This study was designed to examine pertinent research questions that remain unanswered by past investigations of adolescent depression. Specifically this study investigated potential differences between high and low scoring depressed adolescents, and whether gender is an influential variable for consideration. Subjects were 175 adolescent boys and girls from a laboratory school in Midwestern Iowa. Subjects were divided into four groups based on gender and responses two questions on the BDI-A. Specifically, the four groups were: boys who scored at or above IO on the BDI-A (sub-clinical group--boys), boys who scored below 10 on the BDI-A (control group--boys), girls who scored at or above 10 on the BDI-A (sub-clinical group--girls), and girls who scored below IO on the BDI-A (control group--girls). Of the 175 students, 68 were identified as having mild depressive symptoms. Of the 68 students, 36 were male and 32 were female. The dependent variables in this study included three measures that tapped into positive factors, and three measures that tapped into negative factors. Results indicated that participants in the sub-clinical group were more likely to report higher levels of negative factors, and that participants in the control group were more likely to report higher levels of positive factors. There were no significant gender differences in the sub-clinical group or in the control group. In addition, results indicated that sub-clinical males reported elevated levels of negative factors in comparison with females in the control group. Overall, this study was found no significant gender differences when comparing sub-clinical boys and girls, and control group boys and girls. In addition, this study concluded that depressive symptoms is a more important consideration than gender in regards to negative factors. However, additional studies should be conducted to validate these results. In addition, future research should include participants with higher levels of depressive symptoms, as well as a larger sample size.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Augustine Osman


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Date Original


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