Twelve-Month Effects of the COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN Program on Overweight and Depressive Symptoms in High School Adolescents

Bernadette M. Melnyk, Diana Jacobson, Stephanie A. Kelly, Michael J. Belyea, Gabriel Shaibi, Leigh Small, Judith A. O'Haver, Flavio Marsiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We evaluated the 12-month effects of the COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition) program versus an attention control program (Healthy Teens) on overweight/obesity and depressive symptoms in high school adolescents. METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted. Participants were 779 culturally diverse adolescents in the US Southwest. COPE is a cognitive-behavioral skills-building intervention with 20min of physical activity integrated into a health course and taught by teachers once a week for 15 weeks. Outcome measures included body mass index (BMI) and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: COPE teens had a significantly lower BMI at 12months (F1,698=11.22, p=.001) than Healthy Teens (24.95 versus 25.48). There was a significant decrease in the proportion of overweight and obese COPE teens from baseline to 12 months (χ2=5.40, p=.02) as compared with Healthy Teens. For youth who began the study with extremely elevated depressive symptoms, COPE teens had significantly lower depression at 12 months compared with Healthy Teens (COPE M=42.39; Healthy Teens M=57.90); (F1 ,12=5.78, p=.03). CONCLUSIONS: COPE can improve long-term physical and mental health outcomes in teens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-870
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Depression
  • Health behavior
  • Health beliefs
  • Mental health outcomes
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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