Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Chia-Ling Mao

Second Advisor

Daryl L. Canham


Depression, suicide, adolescents, middle school, stress, mental health.


Adolescent depression and teenage suicide should not be neglected and underestimated. While mental health is one of the ten health indicators that Healthy People 20 I 0 is focused on, and there are goals for the health community to work on, statistics are showing that teenagers in a county in Northern California were at high risk for mental health problem. This study was an introductory screening of the depression level of 7th graders attending middle school, and explored sources of adolescent perceived stress and routes of assistance. Results of the study show that almost one in every five 7th graders has symptoms of depression, and Asian students have the highest prevalence and a higher level of depression. Although most students are aware of counseling services being offered at school, only a few students have used the service for personal reasons. School nurses can play an important role in assessment, intervention, and referrals for students at risk for mental health problems.