Prevention of Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescent Girls

  • Britt-Marie Treutiger
  • Lene Lindberg
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


The incidence of depression increases rapidly during adolescence, when almost 50% of all adolescents report subclinical levels of depression. However, girls are overrepresented in these figures. In fact, girls of all ages are less happy with life than their boy peers. Depression and depression-related issues are a huge problem for individuals as well as for society. Elevated, but subclinical, levels of depression have been shown to be one of the strongest predictors of future episodes of depression. The presence of depressive symptoms during youth predicts not only depression, but also an increased long-term risk of substance use, employment problems, and marital difficulties. Hence, the problem is common, and the potential consequences diverse and severe. Prevention programs need to target multiple components as the causes of depression are multifaceted as well as having multiple outcome measures. This Swedish study includes 61 girls who attended the DISA-program (intervention group) and 126 girls who were on waiting list (control group). The DISA is a prevention program targeting depression, which is based on cognitive-behavioral methods. The results of the evaluation suggest that a cognitive-behavioral universal intervention, with the present selection of girls, and delivered in schools, can be successful in preventing depressive symptoms.


Depressive Symptom Group Leader Stockholm County Universal Program Subclinical Level 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Reproductive and Perinatal Health Care, Department of Woman and Child HealthKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Division of Applied Public Health, Department of Public Health SciencesKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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