Self-Regulation and Spiritual Coping Processes in School-aged Children Diagnosed with Depression
AuthorGuthery, Ann Marie
Committee ChairReed, Pamela
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAccording to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (1999), between 10-15% of children and adolescents in the United States show some symptoms of depression that interfere with their functioning at home and school. This same report indicated that only 20-25% of these children get the treatment they need to cope with this significant debilitating condition. Adults often turn to spirituality in order to find comfort, hope and relief from distress. Spirituality refers to one's own beliefs, experiences and ideals concerning how to cope with a crisis (Elkins & Cavendish, 2004). However, most work in spirituality has been done with adults; little is known about the ways in which spirituality may be used or expressed by children who are facing difficulty in life, and especially among clinically children with depression (Elkins et al., 2004).The purpose of this study was to investigate experiences and views that promote well-being among school-age children (ages 9-12 years) who had been diagnosed with depression, and specifically what role spirituality has in this process. The goal was to better understand the process of how these children express and find purpose and meaning in their life in order to find a sense of hope, comfort and strength in order to cope during their experience with depression. The method used for this study was grounded theory, designed to examine an underlying social process (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The sample consisted of 7 English speaking children ages 9-12 that had been diagnosed with depression not otherwise specified or dysthymia. Children were patients at a counseling center in Arizona. A semi-structured interview schedule ensured that the research questions were answered. Data were analyzed using constant comparison of themes across and within data from the participants and other text-based sources.Self-regulation, which included spiritually-related approaches, was found to be a key underlying process of coping in this group of children. Understanding the process of spiritual self-regulation was useful in providing more definitive knowledge for theory-guided practice with clinically depressed school-aged children.