Self-Management Strategies in Youth With Difficulties Related to Anxiety or Depression: What Helps Them Feel Better

Hélène Gaudreau, Stephanie Radziszewski, Janie Houle, Annie Beaudin, Louis Philippe Boisvert, Syphax Brouri, Mathieu Charrette, Laurent Côté, Simon Coulombe, Réal Labelle, Elissa Louka, Benjamin Mousseau, Noémie Phaneuf, Debra Rickwood, Pierre H. Tremblay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anxiety and depressive disorders are the most prevalent mental health problems in adolescents, however, little is known about the strategies they use to deal with their difficulties and regain power over their symptoms. This exploratory study documented the self-management strategies used by adolescents to recover from difficulties related to anxiety and/or depression. Individual interviews were conducted in Montreal, Canada with 49 participants aged 11 to 18 years (28 girls, 20 boys, and 1 non-binary person from various cultural origins) after approval by the Institutional Review Board. Young people were questioned about the self-management strategies they put in place when they felt stressed, sad, or anxious. The data were coded according to the thematic analysis method using an inductive approach. Participants reported 73 self-management strategies, regrouped in four broad themes: (a) I think through; (b) I surround myself with people/animals; (c) I feel and manage my emotions; (d) I continue my daily activities. Their strategies emphasize the role played by their social network and the place of social media as a support in their recovery. Self-management is an empowering process that allows adolescents to take responsibility and to make decisions that foster their recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2023

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