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The Prevention of Depression in 8- to 9-Year-Old Children: A Pilot Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 February 2012

Rosanna Rooney*
Affiliation:
Curtin University of Technology, Australia. r.rooney@curtin.edu.au
Clare Roberts
Affiliation:
Curtin University of Technology, Australia.
Robert Kane
Affiliation:
Curtin University of Technology, Australia.
Lisbeth Pike
Affiliation:
Edith Cowan University, Australia.
Amber Winsor
Affiliation:
Curtin University of Technology, Australia.
Julia White
Affiliation:
Curtin University of Technology, Australia.
Annette Brown
Affiliation:
Curtin University of Technology, Australia.
*
*Address for Correspondence: Dr R. Rooney, School of Psychology, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia.

Abstract

The outcomes of a new universal program aimed at preventing depressive symptoms and disorders in 8- to 9-year-old children are presented. The Positive Thinking Program is a mental health promotion program based on cognitive and behavioural strategies. It is designed to meet the developmental needs of children in the middle primary school Years 4 and 5. Four state primary schools were randomly assigned to receive the program implemented by psychologists or to a control condition involving their regular Health Education curriculum. Seventy-two children participated in the intervention condition and 48 children in the control condition. Children completed measures of depressive and anxiety symptomatology, depressive disorders, and attribution style. The intervention was associated with reductions in depressive symptoms and more positive attributions at post-intervention. Compared to the control group, there was a lower prevalence of depressive disorders at posttest and fewer intervention group children developed a depressive disorder at a 9-month follow-up.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006

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