Teenage Depression Test: Is It Valid?
By Sarah Fader
Updated January 02, 2019
Reviewer Tiffany Howard, LPC, LCADC
The point of a Teenage Depression Test is to help identify if a teenager is struggling with depression or is showing symptoms of the development of one. Teenage Depression Tests are screening processes that are factors in the prevention of anything from depression to suicidal behavior.
How Does A Teenage Depression Test Work?
Most, if not all, Teenage Depression Tests are free and can be taken over the internet as well as during any type of doctor's visit. These tests will always be taken by the teenager in question.
The format of a Teenage Depression Test follows that of the 6-ITEM Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale, which involves response options to the prompted questions to vary from a rating of "all the time" or "always" to "hardly ever" or "rarely", or ratings of that nature. Meanwhile, the questions generally refer to a teenager's mood, sleeping habits, and perceptions of others.
Gender and age are taken into account as well. It has been found that though girls are more likely to be identified as depressed, most teenagers do not suffer from depression. However, it is vital that those who suffer from it be diagnosed and treated immediately.
The Validity of Teenage Depression Tests
Since these tests are specifically directed towards teenagers, it is important that they are assessed accurately so that treatments can be performed as necessary. That is why it is extremely important that the teenager's answers are truthful. If such answers were fabricated, the child could not be properly diagnosed or treated, which can cause future consequences.
To prevent Teenage Depression Tests from being invalid, the teenager must be placed in a safe and preferably private space. It would be best if they were away from their parents or guardians while taking these tests to ensure that their reactions or presence does not influence the results of the test. Doctors or counselors should discuss this confidentiality to encourage honesty.
For Serious Cases
Should a situation in which it has been discovered that a teenager is showing signs of suicidal behavior arises, certain steps need to be taken. First, a doctor or consultant must not let the teenager leave until they are certain whether they are not currently at risk of self-harm.
Secondly, family members should be advised on how to care for their child to best support them should they continue to have suicidal thoughts or self-harming tendencies. This can include the regular or intervening use of counselling services such as BetterHelp.
This platform allows for anyone to seek 24-hour assistance in any matter, even those involving depression and suicidal thoughts. Teenagers have the option to take depression tests on this site as well.