Efficacy of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training: an indicated preventive intervention for depression

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;47(12):1254-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01667.x.


Background: Indicated interventions for adolescents with elevated depressive symptoms may help decrease rates of depression. The current study reports on the efficacy of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST), a group indicated preventive intervention.

Methods: Forty-one adolescents with elevated depression symptoms were randomized to receive either IPT-AST or school counseling (SC) as delivered by guidance counselors and social workers. Adolescents in the two intervention conditions were compared on depression symptoms, overall functioning, and depression diagnoses post-intervention and at 3-month and 6-month follow-up.

Results: Adolescents who received IPT-AST had significantly fewer depression symptoms and better overall functioning post-intervention and at follow-up. Adolescents in IPT-AST also reported fewer depression diagnoses than adolescents in usual care.

Conclusions: These results provide preliminary evidence of the efficacy of IPT-AST as an intervention for adolescents with subthreshold depression. Future research is needed to confirm the efficacy of IPT-AST in a larger and more diverse sample and to determine its long-term impact on depression symptoms and depression diagnoses.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Demography
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome