This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Depressions in School-Aged Children: Implications for School Counselors




Heard, Sherrionda

Type of Degree



Rehabilitation and Special Education


Depression is a serious, debilitating and often overlooked illness among children and adolescents (Carr, 2008; Herman et al., 2009; Stark, 1990; Zalaquett & Sanders, 2010). Despite the overarching negative consequences associated with an early diagnosis of depression and the increased implementation of school based mental health services, it is questionable whether school counselors are prepared to adequately identify depression in children and adolescents (Abrams & Karen, 2005; Carr, 2008; Cash, 2003; Lewinsohn & Clarke, 1999; Zalaquett & Sanders, 2010). This study seeks to examine school counselors’ ability to identify both external and internal characteristics of depression, as well as examine school counselors’ beliefs related to training and preparation received from their counselor education programs of study in this same area. A third purpose of this study is to examine school counselors’ perceived competency as it relates to assessing, identifying, and intervening with students who are possibly experiencing depressive symptoms. Finally, this study will seek to understand the relationship between school counselors’ program type, years of experience, training and their knowledge level pertaining to the assessment, identification and intervention of depression among school-aged children.