The Prevention of Depressive Symptoms in Rural School Children: A Follow-up Study
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This study investigated the long-term effects of the Penn Prevention Program in preventing depressive and anxious symptoms in Australian rural school children with elevated levels of depressive symptoms, at 18- and 30-month follow-up. Seventh grade students from nine primary schools (n = 90) were randomly assigned to receive the programme and nine control schools (n = 99) received their usual health education classes and symptom monitoring. A no-intervention comparison group (n = 114) from 18 rural primary schools matched to the intervention and control group schools received their usual health education classes and were assessed at pre-intervention and 30-month follow-up. Students completed questionnaires on depression, anxiety, explanatory style and social skills. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist. No intervention effects were found for any child-report or parent-report variables at the 18-month follow-up. At the 30-month follow-up, intervention group children reported less anxiety than control or comparison groups. However, there were no effects for depression.
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