Biomedical explanations for mental disorders - where disorders are seen as the results of genetic and biological abnormalities - are increasingly common. The causes that people assign to mental disorders have consequences for treatment preferences, social stigma, and even how permanent they believe their disorders to be (prognostic pessimism). Working with Dr. Jessica Schleider and the Lab for Scalable Mental Health, Isaac is working to better understand the beliefs adolescents have about depression, how these beliefs relate to mental health outcomes, and how they can be augmented to improve these outcomes.
Body dissatisfaction is a significant contributor to depression among adolescents. It is particularly common among adolescent girls, who are at particular risk for depression. Despite this, no study has systematically examined the effect of body dissatisfaction interventions on depression outcomes. Working with Dr. Jessica Schleider and the Lab for Scalable Mental Health, Isaac is working to quantify the effects of such interventions on depression in adolescents. Ultimately, we hope to understand the potential of targeting body dissatisfaction to prevent depression in adolescence and to combat the gender gap that emerges in this period.