Preventing or Reducing Socio-emotional Problems in Adolescents

For some young people, serious, internalizing problems such as depressive or anxious moods, negative self-perceptions and emotional distress, compromise healthy development and can undermine one's ability to succeed in school and work, form and maintain close relationships with others, and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

This Child Trends' brief synthesized findings from 37 random-assignment social intervention programs designed to prevent or treat internalizing problems for adolescents. Findings suggest that social interventions to address internalizing problems are most effective when they teach adolescents how to cope with negative thoughts and emotions, solve problems, and interact effectively with others. Therapeutic approaches appear to be effective. Psychological findings also indicate that combining psychotherapy with antidepressant medications is more effective than therapy alone. Mixed results were found for programs including activities to increase self-esteem and programs directed at non-clinical populations of youth.

Publication Date: 
2011-12
Sponsor: 
Child Trends