Risk and protective factors for depression in youth

Alison L. Shortt, Susan H. Spence

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Risk and protective processes and mechanisms associated with depression in youth are discussed within a developmental–ecological framework. Risk factors at the individual (genetics, biology, affect, cognition, behaviour) and broader contextual levels (e.g., family, school, community) are proposed to interact, leading to the development of depression in youth. Transactions between these individual and contextual factors are suggested to be dynamic and reciprocal, and these transactions are expected to change over time and developmental course. The 'best bet' for the prevention of depression may be multicomponent and multilevel interventions that address the multiple risk and protective factors associated with depression. Preventive interventions need to focus on building protective factors within young people themselves, as well as creating health-promoting environments at home and at school. These interventions likely need to be long term and geared towards assisting youth across successive periods of development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-30
    Number of pages30
    JournalBehaviour Change
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • depression (psychology)
    • educational environment
    • family environment
    • health promotion
    • intervention
    • risk
    • youth


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