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A school-based universal programme to prevent depression and to build up life skills

[journal article]

Wahl, Melanie Silvia; Patak, Margarete Anne; Pössel, Patrick; Hautzinger, Martin

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-263338

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Abstract Aim: To prevent the development and increase of depressive symptoms in adolescents by empowering adolescents to improve their life skills, to foster their realistic thinking, and to influence school behaviour. Subjects and methods: Vocational track students in grade 8 from the southwest of Germany participated either in a school-based universal prevention programme or a non-intervention control group (standard curriculum). The cognitive-behavioural programme LARS&LISA includes 10 sessions held in a regular school setting in same-gender groups. The programme is based on the social information-processing model of social competence (Dodge, Annual Review of Psychology 44:559-584, 1993) and consists of five basic elements: (1) formulation and setting of personal goals; (2) relationship between cognitions, emotions and behaviour; (3) exploration and change of dysfunctional cognitions; (4) training of social competence; (5) assertiveness training. Results: The programme is extensively evaluated in three studies and has shown positive effects on the participants’ social network, symptoms of depression and aggressive behaviour compared to teaching as usual. Conclusions: We have demonstrated that the programme can be successfully delivered to students in a higher vocational track of school (Realschule) by psychologists. Currently it is being evaluated in a lower vocational track of school (Hauptschule) by teachers and psychologists. With LARS&LISA we provide a prevention strategy that can be successfully delivered to a school-based population and integrated into classroom curriculum.
Keywords depression
Classification General Psychology; Developmental Psychology
Free Keywords School-based prevention; Adolescents; Cognitive-behavioural programme; Life skills;
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 349-356
Journal Journal of Public Health, 19 (2011) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10389-011-0400-z
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)