Prevention of depression among Icelandic adolescents

Behav Res Ther. 2009 Jul;47(7):577-85. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Apr 2.


Major depression and dysthymia are frequent, debilitating, and chronic disorders, whose highest rate of initial onset is during the late adolescent years. The effectiveness of a program designed to prevent an initial episode of major depression or dysthymia among adolescents was investigated. Participants were 171 fourteen-year-old "at risk" Icelandic adolescents who were randomly assigned to a prevention program or a treatment-as-usual assessment only control group. They were identified as "at risk" by reporting the presence of depressive symptoms or a negative attributional style. The program was based on a developmental psychosocial model of enhancement of resilience to factors associated with the occurrence of mood disorders. The results indicated that the prevention program resulted in a significantly lower rate of major depression and dysthymia than did the control group. The study demonstrated that school personnel in the school setting can implement such prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / prevention & control*
  • Dysthymic Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • School Health Services
  • Treatment Outcome