Working with Adolescents: Keeping Romantic Relationships in Mind

Anecdotal reports suggest that adolescents presenting to counselling/health/mental health services often identify difficulties in their past or current romantic relationships (e.g. repeated negative interactions with a partner(s), experiencing partner abuse, or very ‘intense/stormy’ relationships) or a recent break-up as the main trigger of their current symptoms or distress.

These adolescents are often in significant distress and may present with severe depressive symptoms and suicidal risk. This resource was developed to support health professionals (e.g. school counsellors, GPs, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists) working with adolescents by summarising the latest research evidence on the impact of adolescents’ heterosexual romantic experiences and relationships on their mental health, with a specific focus on examining their role in the onset of adolescent depression.