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Inferring Immediacy in Adolescent Accounts of Depression

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Working toward a phenomenological account of depression, this article suggests that the relevant level of analysis is that of experiential immediacy based on intersubjectivity. The argument focuses on the experience of one boy and one girl who participated in the study Southwest Youth and the Experience of Psychiatric Treatment (SWYEPT), in which we followed the experience of adolescent psychiatric inpatients and their families over the course of a year. I emphasize the role of language as a form of disclosure and empathy in the interview setting in elaborating a set of criteria for inferring immediacy from interview data, and point to how illness experience is bound up with domains of the life-world such as relationships, religion, morality, reflexivity, identity, and treatment.

Keywords: Depression; adolescence; immediacy; phenomenology

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2013


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