Perceived stigma and depression among black adolescents in outpatient treatment

Theda Rose, Sean Joe, Michael Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the high prevalence of depression among children and adolescents, most that need mental health treatment do not seek care. This is especially true for ethnic minority adolescents. Prior research has shown that perceived stigma may act as a barrier to the initiation of and adherence to depression treatment, yet few studies have examined the relationship between stigma and depression among Black adolescents. This exploratory study examined the relationship between Black adolescents' depression severity and their current level of perceived stigma in an outpatient sample. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a clinical sample of adolescents referred for mental health services at a community-based outpatient clinic (n =108), participating in a prospective pilot study on adolescents' patterns of mental health service use. The analyses revealed that greater depression severity was significantly associated with higher perceived stigma (p < 05), particularly among females. The results also suggest that Black adolescents appear to exhibit an appropriate level of self-assessment regarding their need for mental health services. These results are interpreted in relation to previous literature, and limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Black adolescents
  • Depression
  • Mental health services
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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