Evaluation of a Group Cognitive-Behavioral Depression Prevention Program for Young Adolescents: A Randomized Effectiveness Trial

Jane E. Gillham, Karen J. Reivich, Steven M. Brunwasser, Derek R. Freres, Norma D. Chajon, V. Megan Kash-MacDonald, Tara M. Chaplin, Rachel M. Abenavoli, Samantha L. Matlin, Robert J. Gallop, Martin E.P. Seligman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Depression is a common psychological problem in adolescence. Recent research suggests that group cognitive-behavioral interventions can reduce and prevent symptoms of depression in youth. Few studies have tested the effectiveness of such interventions when delivered by school teachers and counselors (as opposed to research team staff). We evaluated the effectiveness of the Penn Resiliency Program for adolescents (PRP-A), a school-based group intervention that targets cognitive behavioral risk factors for depression. We randomly assigned 408 middle school students (ages 10-15) to one of three conditions: PRP-A, PRP-AP (in which adolescents participated in PRP-A and parents were invited to attend a parent intervention component), or a school-as-usual control. Adolescents completed measures of depression and anxiety symptoms, cognitive style, and coping at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and at 6-month follow-up. PRP-A reduced depression symptoms relative to the school as usual control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-639
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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