To evaluate a program designed to help high school students with depressive symptomology to effectively cope.
Two-phase experimental study.
Rural high school students (N = 222), ages 14 through 19 years, were surveyed to identify teens with depressive symptomatology, identify stressful life events and coping styles of at-risk subjects, and evaluate a cognitive-behavioral group intervention to enhance students' coping and affect levels of depression. Students with depressive symptomatology were randomized into control (n = 18) or intervention (n = 23) groups. Intervention subjects were treated with a nurse-led, 8-week cognitive skills group, conducted at school.
On posttesting, the intervention groups demonstrated reduced depressive symptoms in females and a wider range of coping compared with controls.
School-based nurses are in an ideal position to provide assessment, referral, and intervention programs in the natural setting of the school. Results of this study indicate that such programs can be implemented successfully in schools and have the potential to promote mental health in teenagers.