UW Today

This is an archived article.

October 3, 2006

Depressed and suicidal, self-harming girls needed for study

Fifty depressed teenage girls and adolescent girls from the Puget Sound area who engage in self-harming or suicidal behavior are being sought for a new University of Washington study.

Girls 13 to 17 years of age are needed for the UW’s Adolescent Emotions Project which is funded by a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health.

“The study is designed to learn more about adolescent emotions because most research has been with adults and scientists haven’t quite figured out teenagers,” said Sheila Crowell, a UW psychology doctoral student who is heading the research.

The study needs 25 adolescent girls with clinically significant symptoms of depression, but no suicidal or self-harming behavior. In addition, 25 girls who have made at least one suicide attempt or have one episode of self-harming behavior in the past year are being sought.

Participants in the study will be required to make two visits to the UW, each lasting several hours. During the first visit teens will fill out a number of questionnaires. At the second visit they will watch a film clip, have a discussion with one of their parents and have a small blood draw that will be used to determine their level of a stress hormone called cortisol. Teens will be paid $20 for the first visit and $40 for the second visit. In addition, they will receive a community service award for school.

Crowell said the study is focusing on adolescent girls because self-harming behavior appears to be more common in girls. She is conducting the research with Theodore Beauchaine, a UW associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Ray Hsiao of Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center.

Adolescents who would like to participate in the study or have questions about it should contact Crowell at (206) 221-7264.

###

For more information, contact Crowell at (206) 221-7264 or crowell@u.washington.edu