The School Dropout Process: What’s Depression Got to do With It?

By Cintia Quiroga

Quiroga, C. (2013). The School Dropout Process: What’s Depression Got to do With It? CRECS' Ten Minute Window 1(3).

This segment (in French with closed captioning in English) discusses the process of dropping out of school and presents different ideas about how depression symptoms among adolescents can influence or contribute to this multifactorial phenomenon. It elaborates on evidence supporting the relationship between depression symptoms, self-perceptions of academic competence, and achievement, as possible pathways explaining the course of school dropout in adolescence. Research findings indicating that depression symptoms in seventh-grade students lead indirectly to dropping out of secondary school are presented. The link between depression symptoms and self-regulation processes, including self-academic competence is discussed. Implication for school dropout prevention and research are further examined. The presentation emphasizes the role of depression symptoms in early adolescence, a risk factor that has been greatly overlooked, in school dropout.

See the video on CRECS Youtube Channel.

Keywords: Depression, Research, Educational services, Social exclusion, School Dropout, Self-Competence, At-Risk Youth, Mediational Processes

About the author

Cintia Quiroga is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CHEO Research Institute and Affiliated Researcher at the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Quiroga obtained a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Montreal. Her expertise is in child and adolescent development and focuses on mental health issues, high-risk behaviors, school dropout, and social inequalities. She has worked on several longitudinal studies including at-risk youth from disadvantaged schools and communities. For many years she has also been involved in different school- and community-based dropout prevention programs.

Further Reading

Quiroga, C. V., Janosz, M., Bisset, S., & Morin, A. S. J. (2013). Early adolescent depression symptoms and school dropout: Mediating processes involving self-reported academic competence and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 552-560. DOI: 10.1037/a0031524.

Quiroga, C. V., & Janosz, M., Lyons, J. S., & Morin, A. S. J. (2012). Grade retention and seventh-grade depression symptoms in the course of school dropout among high-risk adolescents. Psychology, 3(9A Special Issue), 749-755. DOI: 10.4236/psych.2012.329113.

Rudolph, K. D. (2004). A self-regulation approach to understanding adolescent depression in the school context. In T. Urdan & F. Pajares (Eds.), Educating adolescents: Challenges and strategies (pp. 33-64). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Vander Stoep, A., Weiss, N. S., McKnight, B., Beresford, S. A. A., & Cohen, P. (2002). Which measure of adolescent psychiatric disorder - diagnosis, number of symptoms, or adaptative functioning - best predict adverse young adult outcomes? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 56, 56-65.

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