Youth Subjective Experience of Psychotropic Treatment

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This K-award investigates the subjective experience of adolescents (ages 14-17) under psychotropic treatment conditions. The candidate will receive training in applied psychopharmacology, medical anthropology, longitudinal research, qualitative software data management, and training in the responsible conduct of child and adolescent research. Case Western Reserve University, school of medicine, departments of anthropology, sociology, and pediatric psychology offer nationally recognized scholars and programs in each of the candidate's training needs. The short-term objective is to produce a grounded theory explanation of adolescent psychotropic experience. The long-term objective is to conduct future interdisciplinary research on inter-relationships among child and adolescent development, culture, and the subjective experience of psychotropic treatment, and to produce practice guidelines that will use developmental and cultural theory to improve adherence. Training and research aims are (1) to investigate adolescents treated with psychotropic medication for illness and disease themes, mastery or competency themes, and other personal experiences, and (2) to investigate adolescent medication management. The project will produce pilot data to test (1) if adolescent psychotropic narratives show less concern with illness themes, and (2) if self-monitoring the effects of medication produces positive adolescent perceptions of treatment, therefore less resistance of medication regimens. Representing a non-random, convenient, outpatient clinic sample and using the KSADS diagnostic research instrument, 32 adolescents who are currently receiving atypical antipsychotic medication will be screened for bipolar disorder. Anthropological qualitative methods, including adapting the mentor's adult Subjective Experience Medication Instrument, standardized side effect and symptom reduction instruments, and a medication management interview schedule will collect longitudinal (16 months) treatment experience data.
Effective start/end date5/1/044/30/09


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $108,274.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $149,046.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $142,883.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $149,468.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $146,898.00


  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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