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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Recovery from adolescent depression as a joint, adolescent-parent goal-directed project Wilson, Leah Joy


This study explored female adolescent perspectives on the joint and goal-directed processes enacted in the adolescent-parent relationship around recovery from adolescent depression. Seven female adolescents with a diagnosis of depression participated in a research conversation and self-confrontation interview. The guiding research question for this study was, “How do female adolescents in a process of recovery from depression describe their recovery as joint goal-directed action in the context of their relationship with parents?” Data were collected using the qualitative action project method (Young, Valach, & Domene, 2005), and participants were asked to describe the important actions they took specific to recovery and how their parents were involved in the recovery journey. Data analysis was conducted following qualitative action project and instrumental case study method (Stake, 2005). The findings generated seven-detailed action-theory informed descriptions of the salient projects, actions and internal processes involved in each participant’s story. Two superordinate and three subordinate recovery-related joint projects involving adolescents and parents, as described by adolescent participants, emerged from a cross case analysis. Findings identified recovery as jointly enacted through the navigation of the adolescent-parent relationship and engagement in formal and familial support processes. The findings also identified joint and intentional action specific to relatedness and autonomy goals, governance transfer, and attending to perceptions of the parent experience as recovery relevant processes in the context of the adolescent-parent relationship. Recovery-related projects shifted over time to reflect changes in adolescents’ internal processes and meaning associated with action. Overall, the findings emphasize the relational embeddedness of recovery from depression in adolescence, adding to our understanding of adolescent priorities in recovery and how adolescents see themselves as working with parents to mobilize toward wellness goals.

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