Preventing depression in high-risk college women: a report of an 18-month follow-up

J Am Coll Health. 2001 May;49(6):299-306. doi: 10.1080/07448480109596316.


The authors tested the long-term effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention in reducing depressive symptoms, decreasing negative thinking, and enhancing self-esteem in 92 college women aged 18 to 24 years who ere at risk for clinical depression. The women were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a no-treatment control group. The experimental group participated in a 6-week cognitive-behavioral intervention that targeted identification and reduction of negative thinking, using such techniques as thought stopping and affirmations. Data on depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and negative thinking were collected before the intervention and at intervals of 1, 6, and 18 months postintervention. The women in the intervention group experienced a greater decrease in depressive symptoms and negative thinking and a greater increase in self-esteem than those in the control group. The beneficial effects continued over an 18-month follow-up period. These findings support the importance of thought stopping and affirmations as prevention interventions with at-risk college women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Self Concept
  • Students / psychology*
  • Time Factors