Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1100–1115 | Cite as

Impact of a Secondary School Depression Prevention Curriculum on Adolescent Social-Emotional Skills: Evaluation of the Resilient Families Program

  • Nikita Singh
  • Matin G. Minaie
  • David R. SkvarcEmail author
  • John W. Toumbourou
Empirical Research

Abstract

School-based mental health intervention programs have demonstrated efficacy for the prevention and reduction of depressive symptoms, though the effect tends to be variable and is often unsustained longitudinally. However, it is possible that these intervention programs may have an indirect impact on adolescent functioning via positive mediators, and that this influence may predict more durable protective benefits. This study evaluated the efficacy of the Resilient Families program for improving social-emotional skills and depressive symptoms for adolescents over a two-year period. Twenty-four secondary schools in Melbourne, Australia were randomly allocated to either Resilient Families or a control condition. 1826 students (M= 12.3, SD = .05 years at W1; 56% female) completed the curricula and subsequent surveys. Inconsistent with hypotheses, analysis with Structural Equation Modelling revealed that the program had no significant effect on social-emotional skills and these skills had no significant effects on adolescent depressive symptoms. However, family attendance at parent education events within the intervention schools was associated with longitudinal reductions in depressive symptoms. The findings highlight the importance of increasing emphasis on family and community protective factors in adolescent social-emotional development and depression prevention programs.

Keywords

Resilient Families Social-emotional Depression Prevention School program Intervention 

Notes

Funding

NHMRC Project Grant No. 251721 provided funding for the original project. NS completed this project as a component of her Clinical Psychology Masters degree at Deakin University. MGM, DRS and JWT are supported as contracted staff members at Deakin University. DRS is also a contracted staff member at Barwon Health.

Authors’ Contributions

NS is the primary author and performed the analyses on the data. MGM assisted with the design of the original study and data set, and assisted with the analyses performed by NS. DRS performed textual edits and prepared the manuscript for submission. JWT conceived of the original study design and provided editorial assistance. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

A potential conflict of interest is noted in that the author JWT holds intellectual property responsibility for the Resilient Families intervention. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University granted ethics approval (Deakin Ethic’s number 2015-213).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Statement of Ethics

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The authors further assert their adherence to the ethical standards outlined by the journal.

References

  1. Abela, J. R. Z., & Hankin, B. L. (2008). Handbook of depression in children and adolescents. New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2011). Young Australians their health and wellbeing. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.Google Scholar
  3. Bond, L., Carlin, J., Thomas, L., & Patton, G. C. (2001). Does bullying cause emotional problems? A longitudinal study of young secondary school students. British Medical Journal, 323, 480–484.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7311.480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buttigieg, J. P., Shortt, A. L., Slaviero, T. M., Hutchinson, D., Kremer, P., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2015). A longitudinal evaluation of the Resilient Families randomised trial to prevent early adolescent depressive symptoms. Journal of Adolescence, 44, 204–213.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.07.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cairns, K. E., Yap, M. B. H., Pilkington, P. D., & Jorm, A. F. (2014). Risk and protective factors for depression that adolescents can modify: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Journal of Affective Disorders, 169, 61–75.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2014.08.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carr, A. (2006). The handbook of child and adolescent clinical psychology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A. M., Lonczak, H. S., & Hawkins, J. D. (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 98–124.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Conway, K. P., Compton, W., Stinson, F. S., & Grant, B. F. (2006). Lifetime comorbidity of DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders and specific drug use disorders: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 67(2), 247–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dray, J., Bowman, J., Campbell, E., Freund, M., Wolfenden, L., Hodder, R. K., & Small, T. (2017). Systematic review of universal resilience-focused interventions targeting child and adolescent mental health in the school setting. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(10), 813–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. D’Zurilla, T. J., Nezu, A. M., & Maydeu-Olivares, A. (2001). Manual for the social problem solving inventory-revised. North Tonawanda: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  12. Fechner-Bates, S., Coyne, J. C., & Schwenk, T. L. (1994). The relationship of self-reported distress to depressive disorders and other psychopathology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 550  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.62.3.550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in Schools, 30, 79–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Haggerty, R.J., & Mrazek, P.J. (Eds.). (1994). Reducing risks for mental disorders: Frontiers for preventive intervention research. National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hammen, C., & Rudolph, K. D. (2003). Childhood mood disorder. In E. J. Mash & R. A. Barkley (Eds), Child Psychopathology. (2nd edn, pp. 233–278). New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hemphill, S. A., Heerde, J. A., Herrenkohl, T. I., Patton, G. C., Toumbourou, J. W., & Catalano, R. F. (2011). Risk and protective factors for adolescent substance use in Washington State, the United States and Victoria, Australia: a longitudinal study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 49, 312–320.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.12.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jenkin, C., & Bretherton, D. (1994). PACE Parenting Adolescents: A Creative Experience. Melbourne: The Australian Council for Education Research.Google Scholar
  18. Klein, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modelling. New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  19. Kochenderfer-Ladd, B., & Skinner, K. (2002). Children’s coping strategies: moderators of the effects of peer victimization?. Developmental Psychology, 38, 267–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lewis, A. J., Kremer, P., Douglas, K., Toumbourou, J. W., Hameed, M. A., Patton, G. C., & Williams, J. (2015). Gender differences in adolescent depression: differential female susceptibility to stressors affecting family functioning. Australian Journal of Psychology, 67, 131–139.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ajpy.12086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mackenzie, S., Wiegel, J. R., Mundt, M., Brown, D., Saewyc, E., Heiligenstein, E., & Fleming, M. (2011). Depression and suicide ideation among students accessing campus health care. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81, 101–107.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01077.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. March, J. S., Silva, S., Petrycki, S., Curry, J., Wells, K., Fairbank, J., & Severe, J. (2007). The treatment for adolescents with depression study (TADS): long-term effectiveness and safety outcomes. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 1132–1143.  https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.64.10.1132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Merry, S. N., Hetrick, S. E., Cox, G. R., Brudevold-Iversen, T., Bir, J. J., & McDowell, H. (2012). Cochrane review: psychological and educational interventions for preventing depression in children and adolescents. Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal, 7, 1409–1685.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ebch.1867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Muris, P. (2001). A brief questionnaire for measuring self-efficacy in youths. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 23(3), 145–149.  https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1010961119608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mullen, S. (2018). Major depressive disorder in children and adolescents. The Mental Health clinician, 8(6), 275–283.  https://doi.org/10.9740/mhc.2018.11.275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Naicker, K., Galambos, N. L., Zeng, Y., Senthilselvan, A., & Colman, I. (2013). Social, demographic, and health outcomes in the 10 years following adolescent depression. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52, 533–538.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Oesterle, S., Hawkins, J. D., Fagan, A. A., Abbott, R. D., & Catalano, R. F. (2014). Variation in the sustained effects of the communities that care prevention system on adolescent smoking, delinquency, and violence. Prevention Science, 15(2), 138–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Payton, J., Weissberg, R.P., Durlak, J.A., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., Schellinger, K.B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: findings from three scientific reviews. Technical Report. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (NJ1).Google Scholar
  29. Rao, U., Daley, S. E., & Hammen, C. (2000). Relationship between depression and substance use disorders in adolescent women during the transition to adulthood. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 215–222.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200002000-00022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sancassiani, F., Pintus, E., Holte, A., Paulus, P., Moro, M. F., Cossu, G., & Lindert, J. (2015). Enhancing the emotional and social skills of youth to promote their wellbeing and positive development: a systematic review of universal school-based randomised controlled trials. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 11(Suppl 1 M2), 21–40.  https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901511010021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shortt, A. L., Hutchinson, D. M. D. M., Chapman, R., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2007). Family, school, peer and individual influences on early adolescent alcohol use: first-year impact of the Resilient Families program. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26(6), 625–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Thapar, A., Collishaw, S., Pine, D. S., & Thapar, A. K. (2012). Depression in adolescence. Lancet, 379(9820), 1056–1067.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60871-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Toumbourou, J. W., Gregg, M. E. D., Shortt, A. L., Hutchinson, D. M., & Slaviero, T. M. (2013). Reduction of adolescent alcohol use through family–school intervention: a randomised trial. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53, 778–784.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Weare, K., & Nind, M. (2011). Mental health promotion and problem prevention in schools: what does the evidence say? Health Promotion International, 26(Suppl 1), i29–69.  https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dar075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Werner-Seidler, A., Perry, Y., Calear, A. L., Newby, J. M., & Christensen, H. (2017). School-based depression and anxiety prevention programs for young people: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 51, 30–47.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2016.10.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversitySchool of PsychologyGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.Deakin University, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED)GeelongAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment (IMPACT), Barwon HealthGeelongAustralia

Personalised recommendations