Characterization and Treatment of Adolescent Depression Research Study
Service Provider
National Institute of Mental Health
Can This Service Be Accessed Virtually / Remotely?
Service Description
This research study seeks to find causes and treatments of depression in teenagers (ages 11-17). The study goals are to increase our knowledge of treatments for depression and understand how the brain changes when teenagers have depression. The study will also compare teenagers with depression to those without mental health diagnoses as they grow up.

Study participation begins with an outpatient evaluation that includes clinical assessment, interviews, and questionnaires. Outpatient visits may include paper-and-pencil and computer tests of mood, memory, and thinking; specialized computer games; and structural and brain imaging. If eligible, study participants may return several times a year, up to age 25. This part of the study does not involve treatment.

Participants may be eligible for treatment (inpatient or outpatient) for up to 25 weeks. Participation includes evidenced-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and, if indicated, standard medications. Participants who are in treatment and their parents will talk with a Senior Attending physician, a nurse, social worker, or psychologist. Those in outpatient treatment will have practice work between visits. Those who are inpatients will have practice work during their inpatient treatment and adjustments to medication can be made. Research includes computer tasks and brain imaging. Schooling will be provided while on the inpatient unit or in day treatment.

All clinical evaluations, research tasks and visits are free of cost. Participants are compensated for research activities. Parents and teenager must agree to the teenager’s participation in research. The studies are conducted at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland and enroll participants from the local area and from across the United States. Transportation expenses are reimbursed by NIMH.
No insurance needed
Always Free?
Financial Aid
Transportation Assistance
Service Focus
Eligibility Criteria
The study is recruiting participants ages 11-17 who are depressed. They must have a pediatrician or other medical provider, be medically healthy, and able to perform research tasks. They may not currently be hospitalized, psychotic or actively suicidal. Teenagers with depression are eligible even if they are taking medication.
Research-Supported Treatments
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Age Groups Served
Adolescents / Teens, Children
Specialized Services for Gender Groups
No specialized services
Racial / Ethnic Groups Served
No specialized services
Specialized Services for LGBTQ+
No specialized services
Special Groups Served
Not applicable
Currently Unknown
Yes there is a waitlist
Licensed Providers?
Eligible States
National Availability (all 50 states)
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Phone Number
Date Last Updated