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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 241386, 9 pages
Research Article

Feasibility of the Positive Thoughts and Actions Prevention Program for Middle Schoolers at Risk for Depression

1Seattle Children's Hospital and University of Washington, Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, 1100 Olive Way, Suite 500, MS MPW 8-1 Seattle, WA 98101, USA
2Seattle Children's Hospital, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, MS W-3636, Seattle, WA 98105, USA

Received 13 May 2010; Revised 24 July 2010; Accepted 24 July 2010

Academic Editor: Bettina F. Piko

Copyright © 2011 Carolyn A. McCarty et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the importance of adolescent depression, few school-based prevention programs have been developed and tested in the United States with middle school populations. This study examined the acceptability and changes in targeted outcomes for a new preventative program, Positive Thoughts and Actions (PTA). Sixty-seven 7th grade students with elevated depressive symptoms were recruited from public schools and randomized to the 12-week PTA program with a parent-component or to a school-as-usual control group. The PTA prevention program was well received by students and parents, yielding high rates of participation and satisfaction among those randomized to receive the intervention. However, analyses of the efficacy of the program in changing depressive symptoms were not significant. In terms of our proximal program targets, most differences were not statistically significant, though effect sizes suggested advantage of PTA over control group in coping, cognitive style, and parent-child communication. This preliminary research highlights a need for further testing of programs for school-based prevention of depression and promotion of positive emotional health.