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Title: The Depression Confession: How Disclosing a Student’s Depression Diagnosis Impacts the Actions and Perceptions of School Teachers
Authors: Jerez, Rosmeilyn
Advisors: Shafir, Eldar
Department: Psychology
Certificate Program: Global Health and Health Policy Program
Class Year: 2023
Abstract: With most children and adolescents spending the majority of their waking hours in school, the teacher-student relationship can have a large impact on the lives of young people. Previous research has shown that becoming aware that a student has a developmental diagnosis, such as ADHD, affects the way teachers perceive and interact with that student. However, no known studies have looked at the effects of becoming aware that a student is struggling with a mental illness. Considering that rates of mental illnesses, particularly depression, are on the rise, this question is crucially important. The present study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by examining the reactions of teachers once they become aware that a student has depression. This study found that becoming aware of the diagnosis has no effect on how teachers discipline a student. Furthermore, the results show no difference in how likely teachers are to believe the student’s behavior is to improve, or how well they think that student will perform on a test. A statistically significant difference was observed in how willing teachers are to engage with the student, with teachers being less likely to call on the student or approach him after class if they are aware of the diagnosis. These findings have important implications for the way teachers are trained to identify and respond to students with depression and can serve as a guide for parents and students who are debating whether disclosing such a diagnosis is in the student’s best interest. Keywords: perceptions, attitudes, depression, teacher, label, diagnosis
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2023
Global Health and Health Policy Program, 2017-2023

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