Preventing Depressive Symptoms In Middle School Students: The Penn Resiliency Program

D. R. Freres
Jane Gillham, Swarthmore College
K. J. Reivich
A. J. Shatté

Abstract

Unipolar depression is a major problem among youth today, with some estimates indicating that more than 20% will experience an episode before age 18. The disorder is often accompanied by academic problems, alcohol abuse, interpersonal difficulties, and physical health problems. The financial burden of depression is also significant. To address the high prevalence and associated costs, our research group developed at 12-session 24-hour cognitive-behavioral therapy based program for administration to middle school aged children. This article describes the content of the program and evidence for the program's efficacy in preventing depressive symptoms in early adolescence.