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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Arshdeep S. Jawandha, MBBS (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Colonial Foundation, explores the emotional development of adolescents and emergence of depressive disorders in this group, a topic that does not figure very prominently in adolescent psychiatry training programs.
Purpose: The editors hope that readers will develop an integrative perspective on adolescent development and risk of depression and build a developmentally based understanding of depression in this patient population. They also look at where the field may go in terms of future research, prevention, and early interventions.
Audience: Although a clear target audience is not identified, it appears to be clinicians/researchers who will design further empirical and conceptual work on the relationship between development and psychopathology during adolescence.
Features: This book proposes "domains" such as brain maturation, cognition, temperament, etc., that are critical to emotional development in adolescents. The normal development in a particular domain is explored and then paired with a chapter on those processes and vulnerabilities that exist in that domain. Within each chapter, gender and cultural differences, as well as the risk of bipolar disorder, are addressed. The first section describes changes in emotional experience and prevalence of depressive disorders. Adolescent brain development, pubertal sexual development, cognitive development, temperament, familial processes, social and moral emotions, peer and romantic relations are then discussed. Charts, tables, diagrams, and some functional scans help explain the topic a little better. The book is a slow and somewhat dry read.
Assessment: Those interested in further understanding the development of emotions and depression in adolescents will find this book useful. For everyday practitioners, it also could offer interesting perspectives.