Treating depressive symptoms in schoolchildren


Although studies on sub-threshold depression in childhood and adolescence havedemonstrated an at risk profile that merits further attention, only few investigators examined the impact of therapy with these children. In this study, twenty elementary schoolchildren (aged 10–12) with moderate depressive symptoms were randomly assigned to an eighteen-session cognitive-behavioural treatment programme or to a waiting list (WL) control group (= Study 1). The key components of the programme ‘Taking Action’ used in the study were: affective education, problem-solving, cognitive restructuring and engaging in enjoyable activities. Child self-reports and parent reports were used to evaluate the outcome. Paired ttests comparing the 4-months follow-up results with baseline measurements, revealed a significant improvement on the Children Depression Inventory and on the Self-Perception Profile for Children, but only in the treatment group. Afterwards, the WL control group was treated as well. All children were followed in a long-term follow-up study (= Study 2). Analyses at the 12 month stage of the follow-up study showed a further improvement of the scores on the Self-Perception Profile. Moreover, a significant decrease was found on the Children Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Child Behaviour Checklist parent measure. It was concluded that the protocol is suitable for European children. The most remarkable findings in this pilot study are discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-004-0366-2

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@article{Cuyper2004TreatingDS, title={Treating depressive symptoms in schoolchildren}, author={Sandy De Cuyper and Benedikte Timbremont and Caroline Braet and Vicky De Backer and Tina Wullaert}, journal={European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry}, year={2004}, volume={13}, pages={105-114} }