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Counseling and Human Development


Background:  Depressive disorders in adolescents are a widespread and increasing problem. Prevention seems a promising and feasible approach.

Methods:  We designed a cognitive-behavioral school-based universal primary prevention program and followed 347 eighth-grade students participating in a randomized controlled trial for three months.

Results:  In line with our hypothesis, participants in the prevention program remained on a low level of depressive symptoms, having strong social networks. The control group showed increasing depressive symptoms and a reduced social network. Contrary to our expectations, students low in self-efficacy benefited more from the program than high self-efficient students. Social network did not mediate the relationship between participation in the prevention program and changes in depressive symptoms.

Conclusions:  Our results show that the prevention program had favorable effects. Further research is needed to explore the impact of self-efficacy on the effects of prevention programs.

Original Publication Information

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Pössel, Patrick, Christiane Baldus, Andrea B. Horn, Gunter Groen and Martin Hautzinger. "Influence of General Self-efficacy on the Effects of a School-based Unviersal Primary Prevention Program of Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents: A Randomized and Controlled Follow-up Study." 2005. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 46(9): 982-994.

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