Date of Conferral
Georita M. Frierson
Depression is a debilitating mental health disorder that has the potential to affect an individual's lifespan adversely; adolescents who reside in low-income urban environments are more at risk of developing the disorder. The purpose of this quantitative ex post facto study was to compare depression symptomatology and quality of life rates among emerging adults who enrolled and emerging adults who did not enroll in a mentorship program as an adolescent while in high school. Beck's cognitive model of depression was used as a theoretical foundation to determine how negative schemas are formed in adolescents who show symptoms of depression. The sample consisted of 128 participants from two groups who included emerging adults between the ages of 18 and 30, half of whom enrolled in a Mentorship Program in Northern New Jersey (MPNNJ) while the other half did not enroll in the mentorship program in Northern New Jersey (non-MPNNJ). ANCOVA analyses were used to investigate whether emerging adults from the MPNNJ versus non-MPNNJ reported differences in depression symptoms and quality of life rates while controlling for job satisfaction and substance use. It was concluded that The MPNNJ group reported significantly lower depression symptomatology rates and higher quality of life rates than the non-MPNNNJ while controlling for covariates, job satisfaction and substance use. Study findings provide empirical evidence to support the long-term positive effects of mentorship programs on depression symptomatology and quality of life. Community planners may be able to use study findings to design youth development programs that have long-term beneficial impacts on participants.