A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Depression Prevention Curriculum for Rural Middle School Girls: Initial Findings and 6-Month Follow-upLa Tonya Noël*, Jill Gromer and Megan Deichen
Florida State University, 296 Champions Way, 2512 University Center Building-C, Tallahassee, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- La Tonya Noël
Florida State University
296 Champions Way ,2512 University Center Building-C
Tallahassee, FL USA
Fax : (850)645-1571
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: October 26, 2013; Accepted Date: March 1, 2014; Published Date: March 6, 2014
Citation: La Tonya Noel, Jill Gromer and Megan Deichen (2014) A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Depression Prevention Curriculum for Rural Middle School Girls: Initial Findings and 6-Month Follow-up. J Child Adolesc Behav 2:127. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000127
Copyright: © 2014 La Tonya N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
This study describes the development and immediate effects of a school-based, cross-age (high school), peerled, targeted intervention to reduce and prevent the onset of major depression among girls ages 13-15 attending a rural middle school in Northern Florida. The intervention, Talk ‘n’ Time, is based on cognitive behavioral and positive youth development principles. This study is a single-blind randomized controlled trial of a school-based targeted intervention to reduce depressive symptoms and prevent the onset of major depression among middle school girls. Participants in the intervention arm of the study attended 12 weekly 90-minute sessions after school. Participants in the control arm of the study were placed on a monitored waitlist. Participants were recruited through an in-school special assembly for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls, posters with cultural diverse girls, and through mailings sent to the same group demographic. Depression symptoms and severity were assessed at baseline and again at 14 days post-intervention. Approximately 8% of participants dropped out before providing complete data, but there was no evidence of attrition bias. Mean scores from a repeated measure analysis indicated that intervention participants showed significantly greater reductions in depressive symptoms relative to controls from pre to post and 6-month follow-up. These results tentatively suggest that this school-based, peer-led, depression prevention program can improve rural middle school girls’ depression symptoms. Innovative programs are needed to reduce the risk of and prevent the acquisition of major depression among middle school girls, particularly those that are marginalized and resource poor in rural communities. This program implements several innovations to its design of depression reduction and prevention in rural middle school girls. Future directions for research and practice are discussed.