School-based depression prevention programs are being implemented in schools across the world in efforts to inoculate children and adolescents from depressive symptoms. This meta-analysis examined 56 manuscripts with a total of 82 studies which focused on school-based programs to determine how they affect depression, anxiety, cognitive skills, self-esteem, coping, and internalizing behaviors. For these specific outcomes, effect sizes ranged from .08 to .25. All combined outcomes yielded a significant effect size of .15. Moderator analyses revealed key differences that identified characteristics of the most effective programs. Targeted programs servicing at-risk students yielded an effect size of .31, while universal programs produced a significant but small effect size of .07. However, the program facilitator seemed to impact the effectiveness of all types of programs. Non-school personnel produced a .39 effect size with targeted samples, and .17 with universal samples, while school personnel produced about one half to a third of the effect.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Cowen, Sherry Lynn, "A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Depression Prevention Programs for Children and Adolescents" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 3970.
depression prevention, program, school-based, intervention