Needed For Prevention Research: Long-Term Follow Up And The Evaluation Of Mediators, Moderators, And Lay Providers

Jane Gillham, Swarthmore College
A. J. Shatté
K. J. Reivich

Abstract

There as has been great progress in research on the prevention of psychological disorders in childhood. The programs reviewed by M. T. Greenberg, C. Domitrovich, and B. Bumgarger (2001) are promising. Most of the programs reduced risk factors and/or symptoms of psychological disorders. Despite this progress, however, there is little evidence for the prevention of psychological disorders. We outline several recommendations for future research, including some noted by Greenberg et al (2001). In particular, we emphasize the need for longer term follow-up, the evaluation of intervention ingredients, mediators and moderators, and the evaluation of intervention providers. These recommendations are illustrated with recent research on depression prevention. Finally, we discuss the need for more research on the prevention of internalizing disorders and the limits of current interventions designed to prevent depression in children and adolescents.