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From Helplessness to Optimism: The Role of Resilience in Treating and Preventing Depression in Youth

Abstract

Some of the most common psychological disorders in children and adolescents are internalizing disorders such as depression and anxiety. Research on the development of depression and anxiety suggests that internalizing disorders can be reduced, even prevented, by promoting more accurate cognitive styles, problem-solving skills, and supportive family relationships. Several cognitive–behavioral interventions have shown promise in treating and preventing depression and anxiety. We review the Penn Resiliency Program (PRP) as an example of such an intervention. We suggest that most of the skills covered in the PRP and similar preventive interventions are not specific to depression or anxiety and can be useful for increasing young people’s resiliency more generally. Interventions that teach and reinforce these skills can help children to navigate a variety of difficult situations they are likely to encounter during adolescence and adulthood.

Keywords

  • Depressive Symptom
  • Cognitive Style
  • Parental Depression
  • Explanatory Style
  • Universal Intervention

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We will not focus on bipolar disorder, or manic-depression, which is relatively rare in children and which appears to be more heavily biologically based (Hammen & Rudolph, 2003).

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Acknowledgment

Research on the effectiveness of the Penn Resiliency Project is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH52270). The Penn Resiliency Program is owned by the University of Pennsylvania. The University of Pennsylvania has licensed this program to Adaptive Learning Systems. Drs. Reivich and Seligman own Adaptive stock and could profit from the sale of this program.

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Reivich, K., Gillham, J.E., Chaplin, T.M., Seligman, M.E.P. (2013). From Helplessness to Optimism: The Role of Resilience in Treating and Preventing Depression in Youth. In: Goldstein, S., Brooks, R. (eds) Handbook of Resilience in Children. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3661-4_12

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