The Efficacy of a Universal School-Based Program to Prevent Adolescent Depression

Ian M. Shochet, Mark R. Dadds, Denise Holland, Kathy Whitefield, Paul H. Harnett, Susan M. Osgarby

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    255 Citations (Scopus)


    Evaluated whether a universal school-based program, designed to prevent depression in adolescents, could be effectively implemented within the constraints of the school environment. Participants were 260 Year 9 secondary school students. Students completed measures of depressive symptoms and hopelessness and were then assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (a) Resourceful Adolescent Program-Adolescents (RAP-A), an 11-session school-based resilience building program, as part of the school curriculum; (b) Resourceful Adolescent Program-Family (RAP-F), the same program as in RAP-A, but in which each student's parents were also invited to participate in a 3-session parent program; and (c) Adolescent Watch, a comparison group in which adolescents simply completed the measures. The program was implemented with a high recruitment (88%), low attrition rate (5.8%), and satisfactory adherence to program protocol. Adolescents in either of the RAP programs reported significantly lower levels of depressive symptomatology and hopelessness at post-intervention and 10-month follow-up, compared with those in the comparison group. Adolescents also reported high satisfaction with the program. The study provides evidence for the efficacy of a school-based universal program designed to prevent depression in adolescence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)303-315
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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