Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 217–228 | Cite as

Randomized Controlled Trial Testing the Effectiveness of a Depression Prevention Program (‘Op Volle Kracht’) Among Adolescent Girls with Elevated Depressive Symptoms

  • Lieke A. M. W. Wijnhoven
  • Daan H. M. Creemers
  • Ad A. Vermulst
  • Ron H. J. Scholte
  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels


Depression rates rise dramatically from the early to late adolescence. Especially young adolescent girls with elevated depressive symptoms are at high risk for developing a depression during adolescence or adulthood. Therefore, the prevention of depression is important especially in this high-risk group. The aim of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) component of the depression prevention program ‘Op Volle Kracht’ (OVK) among Dutch adolescent girls with elevated depressive symptoms. In total, 102 adolescent girls (11–15 years) in the first and second year of secondary school participated in this study. The girls in the experimental group (n = 50) followed the eight CBT-lessons of OVK and reported depressive symptoms 1 week prior to the start of the lessons, after every lesson, at one-month and 6-months follow-up. The girls in the control group (n = 52) exclusively reported depressive symptoms at the same time points. Latent Growth Curve Modeling showed that the decrease in depressive symptoms was significantly larger for girls in the experimental group compared to the girls in the control group. Furthermore, it was found that at 6-months follow-up, the girls in the experimental group had significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms compared to the girls in the control group. These findings indicate that the CBT-component of OVK effectively reduces depressive symptoms in short term and possibly prevents the development of a clinical depression.


Prevention Depression Adolescent girls Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ‘Op Volle Kracht’ 



Funding for this study was provided by grants from GGz Oost-Brabant and The Olim Foundation.

The authors are grateful to drs. Fenneke Verberg for her significant contribution in this project.

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lieke A. M. W. Wijnhoven
    • 1
  • Daan H. M. Creemers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ad A. Vermulst
    • 1
  • Ron H. J. Scholte
    • 1
  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioural Science InstituteRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Mental Health Care InstituteGGZ Oost-BrabantOssThe Netherlands

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