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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(5), 5541-5554; doi:10.3390/ijerph110505541
Article

A Qualitative Investigation of Adolescents’ Perceived Mechanisms of Change from a Universal School-Based Depression Prevention Program

1,* , 2
,
1
 and
3
1 School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4059, Australia 2 New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry, Sydney 2145, Australia 3 School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 March 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adolescent Depression Prevention)
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Abstract

A recent meta-analysis provides evidence supporting the universal application of school-based prevention programs for adolescent depression. The mechanisms underlying such successful interventions, however, are largely unknown. We report on a qualitative analysis of 109 Grade 9 students’ beliefs about what they gained from an evidence-based depression prevention intervention, the Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP-A). Fifty-four percent of interviewees articulated at least one specific example of program benefit. A thematic analysis of responses revealed two major themes, improved interpersonal relationships and improved self-regulation, both stronger than originally assumed. A more minor theme also emerged—more helpful cognitions. It is postulated that both improved interpersonal relationships and improved self-regulation are likely to enhance one another, and more helpful cognitions may express its contribution through enhanced self-regulation. These findings broaden our understanding of the impact of depression prevention programs, beginning to illuminate how such programs benefit participants.
Keywords: prevention; universal interventions; adolescence; depression; school-based interventions; resilience prevention; universal interventions; adolescence; depression; school-based interventions; resilience
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Shochet, I.; Montague, R.; Smith, C.; Dadds, M. A Qualitative Investigation of Adolescents’ Perceived Mechanisms of Change from a Universal School-Based Depression Prevention Program. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 5541-5554.

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