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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Feb;36(2):196-204.

Examination of children's responses to two preventive intervention strategies over time.

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Judge Baker Children's Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To examine long-term effects of two forms of preventive intervention designed to increase families' understanding of parental affective disorder and to prevent depression in children.


Thirty-six families who had a nondepressed child between ages 8 and 15 years and a parent who had experienced affective disorder were enrolled and randomly assigned to either a clinician-facilitated intervention or a lecture discussion group. Each parent and child were assessed prior to randomization, after intervention, and approximately 1 1/2 years after enrollment. Assessments included standard diagnostic interviews, measures of child and family functioning, and interviews about experience of parental affective disorder and intervention effects.


Children in the clinician-facilitated group reported greater understanding of parental affective disorder, as rated by self-report, rater-generated scales, and parent report, and had better adaptive functioning after intervention. Parents in the clinician-facilitated intervention group reported significantly more change.


Findings from both interventions support the value of a future-oriented resiliency-based approach. The greater effects of the clinician-facilitated intervention support the need for linking cognitive information to families' life experience and involving children directly in order to achieve long-term effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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