Stressors and Coping Methods of Turkish Adolescents With High and Low Risk of Depression: A Qualitative Study

J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2021 Nov-Dec;27(6):458-470. doi: 10.1177/1078390319895088. Epub 2020 Jan 22.


Background: Stress and coping skills are essential factors in the etiology of depression. Understanding the stressors and coping strategies of adolescents in Turkey may help determine the content of the country-specific depression prevention program.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to understand the stressors of adolescents with a high or low risk of depression and how they coped with these stressors.

Method: This descriptive qualitative study was conducted in a high school in western Turkey. The data were collected via semistructured individual interviews. Eleven adolescents with high risk of depression and 10 adolescents with low risk of depression were included in the study. Content analysis technique was used to analyze the data.

Results: The stressors of adolescents and their coping were grouped into three themes: stressors, factors affecting coping strategies of adolescents, and coping. Stressors theme consists of three subthemes: family relationship, peer relationship, and telephone/internet usage. The factors affecting coping strategies of adolescents theme consists of four subthemes: cognitive distortions, self-perception, family relationships, and peer relationships. The coping theme consists of two subthemes: engagement coping and disengagement coping.

Conclusions: It was determined that adolescents with a high risk of depression had more stressors and used more disengagement-coping techniques. It is recommended that to prevent depression among adolescents, school nurses should take initiatives to strengthen the coping strategies of adolescents with high risk of depression.

Keywords: adolescents; coping; depression risk; nursing; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Depression*
  • Humans
  • Self Concept
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Turkey