Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 950–959 | Cite as

Ready or Not? Transitions of Depressed Adolescents During Acute Phase of Treatment

  • Natalie Rodriguez-QuintanaEmail author
  • Cara C. Lewis
Original Article


Readiness to change has been identified as a predictor, moderator, and mediator of treatment. Individuals may start treatment in one stage and either stay, regress, or progress across stages, but there is little research exploring these transitions within mental health treatment. The present study addressed two aims: characterize the prevalence of stage membership and transitions, and explore predictors of stage membership and transitions. A Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study sub-sample was used and participants (n = 383) ranged in age from 12 to 17, with a primary diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. The 18-item self-report Stages of Change Questionnaire was administered at baseline and week 6 of treatment. A latent transition analysis determined stage membership and transitions. Most adolescents initiated treatment in precontemplation or contemplation, and hopelessness predicted stage membership and stage transitions. This study revealed that readiness to change and hopelessness are related within the first few weeks of treatment, which may have implications for depressed adolescent’s ability to benefit from care.


Readiness to change Adolescents Hopelessness Depression Treatment 



The authors thank The Methodology Center at The Pennsylvania State University for answering multiple questions about latent transition analysis and SAS PROC LTA.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research InstituteMacColl Center for Health Care InnovationSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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