Depression Among Black Adolescent Females - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-10
1820 words
7 pages
16 min to read
Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is defined as an illness that affects how individuals think feel or act. It instills the feeling of sadness making individuals to lose interest in their undertaking. To the adolescents, the condition may be worse due to the age factor and may lead to the physical and psychological problems resulting in decreased morale to study, interact or work at home. Depression emerges to be a huge health concern, particularly among the black adolescent females. It has been the cause of mental stigma that bedevils the attitude of the female adolescents as a result of culture and daily experiences. An adolescent female is faced with challenges of self-identity and imaginary audience hence life discriminating challenges may subject them to an acute depression.

Research indicates that females have a tendency of experiencing depression compared to men regardless of ethnicity. Also, the black women are vulnerable to depression compared to white women, and this makes them the most vulnerable in the entire population. A black adolescent female or the African American, are subjected to depression due to gender and racial discrimination, parenting issue and poverty hence increasing their chances of developing depressive disorders (Logie, at al., 2013). The socioeconomic status defining the purchasing power and standard of living is a critical determining factor especially in accessing medical treatment, insurance. Lack of knowledge, shame, and experience, refusal of assistance and shyness are among major factors that may breed depression among the young blacks. Some research has been conducted through the clinical social work practice with a primary investigation on the effects and establishment of a healthy living society.

Assessment Tools

Adolescents depressed due undergo emotional challenges in their daily activities resulting in impairment in interpersonal relationships. Parents due question pediatricians about their childrens moodiness plus the possibility of using drugs. The clinical social workers, therefore, out of their fieldwork practices and experiences employs some assessment tools after screening and identification with the aim of instilling care to the black female adolescents. They include;

Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS)

It was a tool that was developed with a motive to assist in the process of not only screening but assessment of the depression progress among the adolescents. It was generated to be used in the clinics, institutions and school setups. It is also to be applied by the counselors in evaluating the progress of their clients. Normally the KADS vary, depending on the number of items it contains. For the adolescents, the items are normally a set of question and answer test that enables the specialist to gauge and understand the depression level and type that the adolescent is suffering from. The items differ depending on the objective of the expert, whether he/she is assessing or screening the presence of depression. The advantage of KADS is that it gives an adolescent the opportunity to share that which might be difficult to say as a result of shame hence providing the counselor with an idea on how to handle and address the issue of an adolescent. Assessment through this tools evolves due to the possibility of determining the progress and being able to strike a balance on whether ad adolescent is making a difference or not.

The Kutcher Generalized Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (K-GSADS-A)

It is a tool purely at the disposal of the clinicians, and it is designed to identify social phobia among the adolescents and assess its severity. Social phobia is a characteristic of the adolescents and a major contributor to the acts of depression. It is the aspect that breeds shyness and ability to seek assistance among the black adolescent females. Even though phobia may not signify depression, certain actions may instill it into an individual especially the young. Studies portray that there are cases where bold and confident students suddenly become introvert and unable to face the people. It is a symptom that certain social aspects might have to demoralize and threatened her attitude resulting in a secondary character. It is these cases that the pediatricians, psychologists, counselors and other clinical experts identifies and provides right advisory services and medical treatment. Following the services is the mental subjection into the Kutcher generalized social anxiety scale for adolescents. It provides an assessment to determine whether the social phobia still exists or has been combated. This assessment tool is more useful as it is predominantly used by the experts.

Teen Functional Assessment (TEFA)

It is a quick self-report tool where an adolescent is required to outline the life challenges affecting him\her. It is this information that the professionals use to determine the cause of depression and addresses it. In many cases, the most highlighted issues are self and parental. Frequent inquiry and report better the life of an adolescent as the challenges are addressed whenever mentioned. Another related tool is the Mood Enhancing Prescription (MEP) which highlights the number of activities that an adolescent may be engaged in to boost the morale, drive to push on and forget the depressant conditions.

Most Effective and Culturally Sensitive Clinical Social Work Practices With the Above Population

The adolescents are a delicate group of individuals because the stage links childhood and adulthood and therefore, it is the stage where right or bad attitudes towards are acquired. At this stage, not all activities pioneered by the social workers will be fruitful. Notably, there is an issue of age and race that needs to be understood and incorporated into the cultural atmosphere. The most critical activity that the social worker is to emphasize on is group counseling.

Group counseling among the teenagers has the benefit of providing the solutions without the input of the social worker or the counselor. It provides the clients with the opportunity to share their views and advice one another appropriately. Importantly, to kill the issue of race which is a dominant factor especially among the Black-Americans, the specialist needs to embrace diversity. They are to achieve this through mixing races to enable them to understand the fact that no race is superior or inferior compared to another (Brammer, 2012). The significance of this is to boost cohesiveness and killing of the white superiority view making the blacks also to stand confidently. The most important aspect of group counseling is the fact that, all the participants of diverse cultural backgrounds manage to understand one anothers culture, its beliefs and learns to appreciate it. It, therefore, breeds intercultural cohesiveness and boosts the cognitive development of the teenagers.

Another activity is the wilderness therapy programme (Williams et al., 2012). Which are a short-term and structured therapy occurring in very remote locations and have the potential of removing the individual from their comfort zones of watching music, televisions and delinquent social groups. It is an outdoor activity organized by social workers and which is critical in building the psycho-social behavior of the adolescents and also the development of confidence. Normally, the activity is free from cultural influence, but instead, the participants learn from one another and from the challenges they experience from the wilderness competitions. In many cases, groups are usually formed of mixed races to promote cohesiveness and to identify the unique potential of every individual in the team. It is to be followed by therapeutic boarding school. The social workers must identify these individuals and design a plan of activities that they are to be engaged in, depending on their distinct challenges and later on provide solutions to them. At the schools, the primary activities are academic and emotional development. The uniqueness of the institution is the presence of highly equipped cognitive development tools and personnel who are to help the adolescents improve their challenges.

Other activities important and through the assistance of the social worker is regular exercise as it induces positive feelings hence changing the mood for the better. Also, getting enough sleep, taking healthy diet and avoiding depressants such as alcohol core in relieving symptoms of depression and growing a positive, healthy life especially for the female blacks. The social workers are to consider the locally available nutritious foods supported by the peoples culture and which is available as that is bound to be supported by the entire family.

Theories to Guide Clinical Social Work Practice

Some theories of social work are friendly and of benefit to the adolescents upon their application. Some of the theories include the transpersonal theory that emphasizes on healing and aspirations (Payne, 2015). To the black female adolescents, the social workers are to remind of the famous black females who persevered against odds to achieve excellence in life. Such examples motivate them and assist in changing attitudes. The psychodynamic theory that focuses on the inner world of an individual such as the id, ego, and superego is of significance (Payne, 2015). The social worker is to accept and acknowledge the conflict that exists between them and find a middle group of helping an adolescent female to understand. Furthermore, the social cognitive theory is as well significant as it emphasizes on the behavior modeled through observation governed by reinforcements both positive and negative. A social worker is to extract information from the adolescents and know the people they are using as their role models. The object is to assists them acquire the positive attributes and modify the negative become positive.

Development of Culturally Responsive Clinical Relationship with the Selected Population

The art of developing a culturally responsive relationship between the therapist or social worker and the adolescent is challenging since the adolescents may be undergoing some challenges that might require them time to develop friendship mind. Some of the critical relationship building is: -

First, the social workers are to ensure safety since some of the depressed feelings may have emerged from security absence. The therapist, therefore, is to portray non-intrusiveness, psychological security, visible positive intentions, transparency and demarking security limits (Lindahl, & Archer, 2013). All these aspects are important for the clients attitude and understanding of the therapist.

Secondly, is the creation of the visible will to accept and understand an adolescent. In most cases, the depressed tend to feel lonely and therefore will confide in those that they find friendly and willing to accept them. To achieve this, the social workers should possess the sense of empathy, attunement, understanding, and acceptance. Culturally, people are brought up in different ways and therefore, accepting the diversity, and cultural atmosphere means a lot.

Finally is the emotional connection and active relatedness (Lindahl, & Archer, 2013). A therapist is to be an agent of the therapy process. He/she is to identify the problem, solve and provide encouragement to strengthen an adolescent. To achieve this, patience, honesty and the will to encourage is critical.

Skills the Clinical Social Worker Must Possess

Clinical social workers need certain skills to accurately and competently attend to the challenges of the depressed adolescents. Some of the Skills include;

Active listening: - it is the door opener that breeds trust and enables the social worker to acquire the d...

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