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“Performing Emotions and Suffering.” Recovery of Depressive Symptoms Involving Adolescent Intervention in Art and Dance Schools
José Carlos SANTOSContact / Kontakt / Kapcsolat, Helena QUARESMA, Cláudia CARMO, Jorge FAÇANHA, António NABAIS, Lurdes SIMEÃO, Cláudia CALÇAS, Ermelinda MATOS, Isabel CORUCHE, Rosa SIMÕES, Maria ERSE, Cândida LOUREIRO, Lúcia MARQUES & Marta BRÁS
EJMH Vol 17 Issue 3 (2022) 65-77; https://doi.org/10.5708/EJMH.17.2022.3.5
Received: 1 September 2021; Accepted: 18 September 2022; Online: 13 December 2022
Section: Research Papers
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Abstract

Introduction: In previous studies, a large majority of dance students reported mental health issues, mainly eating disorders and depression.

Aims: This project aimed to promote mental health and well-being as well as prevent maladaptive and risky behaviors – namely suicidal behavior – among adolescents who attend art and dance schools. It was implemented in sequential stages, including six moments of classroom intervention for adolescents.

Methods: A quasi-experimental research design was applied, with two assessment moments (before and after the intervention) using questionnaires filled out by the adolescents.

Results: The project was implemented in three art schools (Center and South of Portugal), and the sample consisted of 122 adolescents. 72.9% of our sample were girls aged 12–18 years (M = 13.88; SD = 1.54). Boys showed significantly higher well-being scores (M = 16.53; SD = 4.24 vs M = 14.67, SD = 4.17), and girls showed higher coping scores (M = 153.3; SD = 13.53 vs M = 146.73; SD = 13.22). Concerning depressive symptoms, 34.8% of adolescents had moderate/severe depressive symptoms, which decreased by 10% after the intervention.

Conclusions: Adolescents attending art schools might be more vulnerable to developing mental distress, and this intervention proved to be an effective approach for promoting mental health and well-being as well as preventing suicidal behaviors.

Keywords

mental health, prevention, suicide, adolescents, art schools

Corresponding author

José Carlos SANTOS

Nursing School of Coimbra; Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing

jcsantos@esenfc.pt

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1574-972X

Co-authors

Helena QUARESMA: Nursing School of Coimbra; Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9052-1712

Cláudia CARMO: Research Centre in Psychology (CIP/UAL); University of Algarve

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7301-349X

Jorge FAÇANHA: Psychiatric Service, Coimbra Hospital and University Center

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7065-7214

António NABAIS: Pedopsychiatry, Dona Estefânia Hospital, University Hospital Center, Lisbon Central

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0218-343X

Lurdes SIMEÃO: Pedopsychiatry, Dona Estefânia Hospital, University Hospital Center, Lisbon Central

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1556-440X

Cláudia CALÇAS: Pedopsychiatry, Dona Estefânia Hospital, University Hospital Center, Lisbon Central

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2622-3336

Ermelinda MATOS: Mealhada Health Center, Regional Health Administration of Central Portugal

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8149-5556

Isabel CORUCHE: ACES Central Lisbon, Regional Health Administration of Lisbon and Tagus Valley Portugal

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9293-393X

Rosa SIMÕES: Emergency Unit, Coimbra Hospital and University Center

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6861-4928

Maria ERSE: Psychiatric Service, Coimbra Hospital and University Center

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6299-2787

Cândida LOUREIRO: Nursing School of Coimbra; Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4135-6217

Lúcia MARQUES: Department of Public Health, Regional Health Administration of Central Portugal

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8476-3069

Marta BRÁS: Research Centre in Psychology (CIP/UAL); University of Algarve

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7430-1939

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