NRS 434 Assignment Contemporary Issues

NRS 434 Assignment Contemporary Issues

NRS 434 Assignment Contemporary Issues

NRS 434 Health Assessment


Adolescents face a range of issues today, which are not only complex and require effective interventions from stakeholders, especially mental health. More teens are suffering from depression due to a host of factors that include peer influence, substance use and abuse, and even eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. As such, this essay discusses depression as a contemporary issue facing adolescents and their effects on their behavior.

Depression Among Adolescents

Adolescent depression is a critical public health issue and concern. The association illustrates that close to 11 percent of youth encounter depression, and these events are linked to downstream negative results later in adolescence and even in adulthood (Auerbach, 2015). The most alarming aspect of depression among adolescents is that close three-quarters who experience it may attempt suicide in adulthood.

Depression among adolescents affects how they think, feel, and behave, leading to emotional, functional, and physical problems. While depression can occur at any moment in life, symptoms may differ between adolescents and adults (Rice et al., 2017). Signs and symptoms of depression among adolescents comprise changes in behavior and attitude that may cause significant distress and problems at home or school and social activities. Emotional changes may include feelings of sadness and frustrations and anger, feeling hopeless and empty, and being irritable or moody. Some may lose interest in and be in conflict with friends and have low self-esteem and experience worthlessness or guilt. In some instances, adolescents may contemplate suicidal thoughts.

Behavioral changes may include loss of energy and insomnia, as well as changes in appetite and use of drugs, among other substances. Social isolation and self-harm may also manifest alongside angry outbursts (Bernaras et al., 2019). Parents should understand the symptoms and signs of depression and seek relevant interventions through counseling and other therapies since depression is treatable.

External Stressors Linked to Adolescent Depression

A range of external stressors exacerbates depression among adolescents. For instance, adolescents experience depression when they fail to live to their expectations in their academic work, social presence, unhealthy lifestyles, peer pressure, and social media. Firstly, adolescents are frequently under pressure to excel academically to attain good grades by their parents and join reputable colleges and universities. Studies indicate that adolescents have poor time management skills that make it difficult for many to excel academically (Bernaras et al., 2019). The failure to excel in academics causes heightened stress levels. Secondly, external stress from conformity to social life and peer pressure exacerbates depression as teenagers want to make friends and social presence through different platforms, especially increased use of social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, among others (Auerbach, 2015). Teenagers may also find it difficult to maintain different social relationships because of a lack of effort and even social skills. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, like eating disorders, also lead to depression. Staying awake at night and consumption of unhealthy fast foods are building blocks of stress and depression.

Assessment Strategies to Screen Depression

The assessment strategies to screen depression are based on accepted and recommended tools that include the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) developed by the American Psychology Association (APA). Using the criteria in DSM-5, practitioners can assess symptoms and signs of depression among teenagers. Further, the American Medical Association’s Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services (GPS) recommend that primary providers should start screening depression at age 11 and continue each year after that (Bernaras et al., 2019). Again, professional organizations recommend that adolescents aged 12 to 18 years be screened for major depressive disorders.

Lack of resources, external stressors can impact the assessment strategies for the screening of adolescent depression. Studies show that close to 65% of adolescents with depression do not access critical services and resources to help treat their condition (Rice et al., 2017). The deployment of assessment strategies requires increased investment in mental health targeted to adolescents.

Additional Assessment Questions & Ethical Parameters

Assessment questionnaires are the most significant step in determining how depression taints adolescent mental health. Depression can lead to suicide and other adverse health effects. Depression has various signs, as mentioned. Additional assessment questions entail asking the role of parents and guardians in identifying and recognizing depression symptoms and reporting to the appropriate agencies. Ethical parameters on what to share with parents and guardians entail ensuring that the affected adolescents are not exposed since they are minors (Auerbach, 2015). Secondly, ethical issues may include the need to uphold the impacted adolescents’ privacy and confidentiality to provide adequate care.


Support Options

Adolescents experiencing depression have different support options, from family support to community and institutional-based support from mental health facilities. Having supportive friends is essential in encountering adolescents’ external stressors with depression (Zuckerbrot et al., 2018). Support options are also available through professional resources, which can help the adolescent cope with depression. Caregivers and parents who seek professional assistance from mental health experts like psychiatrists should understand that adolescents have the right to ensure that their information is not disclosed (Rice et al., 2017). Depressed adolescents can also find support systems through their communities, especially if they run mental health programs.


Knowledge of contemporary issues that impact adolescents is essential and offers immense benefits for the youth, especially the physical and emotional aspects. It is essential to offer support during this critical stage as adolescents make the transition to adults. The transition can have several external stressors that may impact the mental health of adolescents. Therefore, using assessment tools and observation and external resources can be useful in providing an outlet for adolescents to deal with depression.


Auerbach, R. A. (2015). Depression in adolescents: Causes, correlates, and consequences.

American Psychological Association (APA). Retrieved from

Bernaras, E., Jaureguiza, J. & Garaigordobil, M. (2019). Child and Adolescent Depression: A

Review of Theories, Evaluation Instruments, Prevention Programs, and Treatments. Frontier Psychology.

Rice, F., Eyre, O., Riglin, L. & Potter, R. (2017). Adolescent depression and treatment gap. The

Lancet Psychiatry, 4(2): 86-87.

Zuckerbrot, R. A., Cheung, A., Jensen, P. S., Stein, R. E. K., & Laraque, D. (2018).  Guidelines

for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care (GLAD-PC): Part I. Practice Preparation, Identification, Assessment, and Initial Management. Pediatrics, 141(3) e20174081; DOI:

Child abuse and maltreatment is not limited to a particular age—it can occur in the infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age years. Choose one of the four age groups and outline the types of abuse most commonly seen among children of that age. Describe warning signs and physical and emotional assessment findings the nurse may see that could indicate child abuse. Discuss cultural variations of health practices that can be misidentified as child abuse. Describe the reporting mechanism in your state and nurse responsibilities related to the reporting of suspected child abuse.


Latasha Brooks

Posted Date

Feb 3, 2022, 11:56 PM


Replies to Latasha Brooks

There a scores of resources available to the nurse designed to better identify possible abuse, whether it be physical or emotional. When considering possible signs of abuse or mistreatment, the nurse should recognize acute changes in the child’s behavior or patterns. According to the Child Welfare Department, a federally funded and mandated agency (Child Welfare Department, 2019), indicators that interventions may be needed are a decline in a child’s school performance. This may be related to lack of concentration as the child may withdraw as a sign of their own assessment of the degree of safety present in engaging and/or participating in contact with peers or authority figures outside of the home. Excessive absences may be attempts to allow time for healing of results of physical abuse such as abrasions, bruises, or fractures. Reluctantly to go home after school may also be an indicator of possible abuse.

Abuse goes beyond the physical nature. Emotional abuse has just as long lasting effects on school age children as physical abuse does. School age children are at a stage in their life where they desire to fit in with their peers, notice differences between themselves and other children, and may need assurance that abuse is not their fault (Falkner, 2018).



Child Welfare Information Gateway (2019). What is child abuse and neglect. Retrieved from


Falkner, A. (2018). Grand Canyon University (E.D). Age-Appropriate Approach to Pediatric Health Care Assessment. Retrieved from

  • MG

Marise Guillaume Charles

replied toLatasha Brooks

Feb 4, 2022, 11:42 PM

Replies to Latasha Brooks

Hello Latasha,

You have provided an in-depth post and I agree with you. Ideally, child abuse and maltreatment is associated with devastating effects on children (Gonzalez et al., 2021). As such, it is important to report any case of child abuse. As mandated, nurses are trained to recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse or maltreatment and report to the relevant authority. Failure to report may lead to legal actions against them or disciplinary actions by their employers or board of nursing. If a nurse infers abuse or maltreatment, the first step is to report to the physician, nurse managers, or physician assistant. If the victim is presented to the facility with the alleged perpetrator, the assessment should be done without the perpetrator in the room. A comprehensive head-to-toe examination should be conducted to identify physical signs of abuse. It is essential to have a witness if possible. Nurses should ensure a comprehensive documentation and description of the findings, non-verbal behaviors, victim statements, and the statements and behaviors of the alleged perpetrator. The law enforcement should be notified instantly while the victim is still in the facility. Moreover, Child Protective Services should be called and followed up with a documented report (Lee & Kim, 2018).


Gonzalez, D., Mirabal, A. B., & McCall, J. D. (2021). Child abuse and neglect. StatPearls [Internet].

Lee, H. M., & Kim, J. S. (2018). Predictors of intention of reporting child abuse among emergency nurses. Journal of pediatric nursing38, e47-e52.