Twelve-Month Outcomes of a Randomized Trial of the Positive Thoughts and Action Program for Depression Among Early Adolescents
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This study was conducted to examine the 12-month effects on depression and depressive symptoms of a group-based cognitive-behavioral preventive intervention for middle school students (Positive Thoughts and Actions, or PTA), relative to a brief, individually administered supportive intervention (Individual Support Program, or ISP). A randomized clinical trial was conducted with 120 early adolescents (73 girls and 47 boys; age 12–14 years) drawn from a school-based population who had elevated depressive symptoms. Youths completed measures of depressive symptoms at baseline, post-intervention, and 6 and 12 months into the follow-up phase. Measures of internalizing problems, externalizing problems, school adjustment, interpersonal relationships, and health behavior were obtained from parents and/or youth. Multilevel models indicated that the effect of PTA on youth-reported depressive symptoms persisted until 12-month follow-up; d = 0.36 at post-intervention, d = 0.24 at 6-month follow-up, and d = 0.21 at 12-month follow-up. PTA youths also reported lower internalizing symptoms at post-intervention, d = 0.44, and at 12-month follow-up, d = 0.39. Time-limited effects were found for parent-reported internalizing symptoms and health behavior. Onset of new depressive episodes did not differ based on intervention group (21 % ISP; 17 % PTA). Results demonstrate support for the long-term efficacy of PTA, a cognitive-behavioral preventive intervention in which youths engage in personal goal-setting and practice social-emotional skills.
KeywordsDepression Prevention Intervention Indicated School-based
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R34 MH083076).
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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