Editor's Pick - February 2023



Childhood abuse and adolescent depression: Moderating roles of social support and friendship quality
Zhichao Wang (Tianjin Normal University, and School of Teacher Education, Binzhou University), 2023, 51(1), e12136



I found this article really interesting; social support and friendship quality were identified as protective factors in the link between childhood abuse and adolescent depression.

Throughout my lifetime, I have seen that, for many years, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety were hidden and not talked about. People who suffered these illnesses were in many ways social outcasts, which caused a lack of social support and friendships, thus compounding the issues.

However, in recent years, mental health issues have come out of the ‘darkness’ and those who have them are more accepted than before. The stigma of mental illness has been reduced so that more options for social support have become available. Also, with the stigma lifted I believe that stronger friendships have become possible.

The author put forward the hypothesis that childhood abuse will significantly and positively predict adolescent depression. The author says, “Children who grow up in abusive environments do not usually receive appropriate support, understanding, and attention. Social support may compensate for the lack of care and attention they receive in early life, forming a protective factor that buffers the effects of abusive experiences on depression.”

Even though childhood experience of abuse may be a factor that cannot be directly changed, educators and society in general can make a difference in the outcomes for these children. Offering social support and good friendships to buffer the negative impact of childhood abuse can help adolescents to have more positive experiences and improved mental health.

I thought this article was very reassuring. There is a way to help minimize mental health issues caused by child abuse and neglect, and all of us in the community can play a part in providing a solution to this all-too-common problem of adolescent depression and anxiety by encouraging and offering social support and friendship.

Suzi Brown | IT Manager
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal