A pilot investigation of universal school-based prevention programs for anxiety and depression symptomology in children: A randomized controlled trial

Kristy M. Johnstone*, Tracey Middleton, Eva Kemps, Junwen Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: The current study aimed to provide a preliminary evaluation of two universal school-based prevention programs, Emotion Regulation (ER) and Behavioral Activation (BA), by increasing resilience to manage excessive worry, a transdiagnostic feature across anxiety and depression. Method: Primary school children (N = 295; 52.5% female; 8–13 years) from five Australian schools were cluster randomized to an ER, BA or usual class control condition. Outcome measures included resilience, worry, anxiety, and depression symptomology; ER and BA were measured as potential mediators. Participants completed measures at pre- and postprogram, and at 6-month follow-up. Results: Children in the BA condition showed increased resilience at 6 months. Expressive suppression mediated the effects of both programs on worry. Conclusion: The current study aimed to provide a preliminary evaluation of two universal school-based prevention programs, ER and BA, by increasing resilience to manage excessive worry, a transdiagnostic feature across anxiety and depression.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1193-1216
    Number of pages24
    JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
    Volume76
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

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