Reducing Depression Among At-Risk Early Adolescents: Three-Year Effects of a Family-Centered Intervention Embedded Within Schools

Arin M. Connell, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


The Adolescent Transitions Program (ATP) is a family-focused multilevel prevention program designed for delivery within public middle schools to target parenting factors related to the development of behavior problems in early adolescence. The current study examines the effects of the ATP on the development of youth depressive symptoms across early adolescence in a sample of 106 high-risk youths. Youths were recruited in 6th grade, and selected as high risk based on teacher and parent reports of behavioral or emotional problems. Depression symptoms were based on youth and mother reports in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Receipt of the family-centered intervention inhibited growth in depressive symptoms in high-risk youths over the 3 yearly assessments compared with symptoms in high-risk youths in the control group. Results support the notion that parental engagement in a program designed to improve parent management practices and parent-adolescent relationships can result in collateral benefits to the youths' depressive symptoms at a critical transition period of social and emotional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-585
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008



  • depression
  • early adolescence
  • family intervention
  • motivational interviewing
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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