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Psychol Bull. 2006 Jan;132(1):132-49.

Effects of psychotherapy for depression in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1Judge Baker Children's Center, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02120-3225, USA. jweisz@jbcc.harvard.edu

Abstract

Serious sequelae of youth depression, plus recent concerns over medication safety, prompt growing interest in the effects of youth psychotherapy. In previous meta-analyses, effect sizes (ESs) have averaged .99, well above conventional standards for a large effect and well above mean ES for other conditions. The authors applied rigorous analytic methods to the largest study sample to date and found a mean ES of .34, not superior but significantly inferior to mean ES for other conditions. Cognitive treatments (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy) fared no better than noncognitive approaches. Effects showed both generality (anxiety was reduced) and specificity (externalizing problems were not), plus short- but not long-term holding power. Youth depression treatments appear to produce effects that are significant but modest in their strength, breadth, and durability.

PMID:
16435960
PMCID:
PMC2150594
DOI:
10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.132
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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