Twelve-Month Outcomes of a Randomized Trial of the Positive Thoughts and Action Program for Depression Among Early Adolescents

Mylien T. Duong, Rick A. Cruz, Kevin M. King, Heather D. Violette, Carolyn A. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to examine the 12-month effects on depression and depressive symptoms of a group-based cognitive-behavioral preventive intervention for middle school students (Positive Thoughts and Actions, or PTA), relative to a brief, individually administered supportive intervention (Individual Support Program, or ISP). A randomized clinical trial was conducted with 120 early adolescents (73 girls and 47 boys; age 12–14 years) drawn from a school-based population who had elevated depressive symptoms. Youths completed measures of depressive symptoms at baseline, post-intervention, and 6 and 12 months into the follow-up phase. Measures of internalizing problems, externalizing problems, school adjustment, interpersonal relationships, and health behavior were obtained from parents and/or youth. Multilevel models indicated that the effect of PTA on youth-reported depressive symptoms persisted until 12-month follow-up; d = 0.36 at post-intervention, d = 0.24 at 6-month follow-up, and d = 0.21 at 12-month follow-up. PTA youths also reported lower internalizing symptoms at post-intervention, d = 0.44, and at 12-month follow-up, d = 0.39. Time-limited effects were found for parent-reported internalizing symptoms and health behavior. Onset of new depressive episodes did not differ based on intervention group (21 % ISP; 17 % PTA). Results demonstrate support for the long-term efficacy of PTA, a cognitive-behavioral preventive intervention in which youths engage in personal goal-setting and practice social-emotional skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Indicated
  • Intervention
  • Prevention
  • School-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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