Cover: Prevention of Depressive Symptoms in Schoolchildren

Prevention of Depressive Symptoms in Schoolchildren

Two-Year Follow-Up

Published in: Psychological Science, v. 6, no. 6, Nov. 1995, p. 343-351

Posted on rand.org 1995

by Jane E. Gillham, Karen Reivich, Lisa H. Jaycox, Martin E. P. Seligman

After teaching cognitive and social-problem-solving techniques to prevent depressive symptoms, the authors followed 69 fifth- and sixth-grade children at risk for depression for 2 years. These children were compared with 49 children in a matched no-treatment control group. The prevention group reported fewer depressive symptoms through the 2-year follow-up, and moderate to severe symptoms were reduced by half. Surprisingly, the effects of the prevention program grew larger after the program was over. The authors suggest that psychological immunization against depression can occur by teaching cognitive and social skills to children as they enter puberty.

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.