The Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Adolescent Mental Health: Swedish and Australian Pilot Outcomes
2015 (English)In: Journal of Child and Family Studies, ISSN 1062-1024, E-ISSN 1573-2843, Vol. 24, no 4, 1016-1030 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Depression, anxiety and stress are common problems among adolescents. Teaching young people coping strategies in school-based intervention programs is one promising approach hoped to remedy the negative consequences of distress in adolescence. The aim of the two pilot studies was to examine the effect of a brief intervention based on the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on depressive symptomatology (Australian study, N = 66) and stress (Swedish study, N = 32) among adolescents screened for psychosocial problems in school settings. In both studies, subjects were assigned to receive the ACT-group-intervention, or a control intervention featuring individual support from the school health care. The Australian study was a planned comparison, with random allocation for girls, plus one replication of a boys group. The Swedish study used a randomized controlled design. The ACT-intervention was an 8-session manualized group program. The Australian study showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms with a large effect, and significant reductions in psychological inflexibility with a medium effect when compared to the control group who received standard care. In the Swedish study, the ACT-intervention group, when compared to the control group, reported significantly lower levels of stress with a large effect size, and marginally significant decrease of anxiety, and marginally significant increased mindfulness skills. Taken together, the ACT-intervention seems to be a promising intervention for reducing stress and depressive symptoms among young adolescents in school and should be tested in full-sized studies. Limitations of these two pilots include small samples.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 24, no 4, 1016-1030 p.
Adolescent depression, Adolescent stress, ACT (Acceptance and commitment therapy), School intervention
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258832DOI: 10.1007/s10826-014-9912-9ISI: 000351509700018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-258832DiVA: diva2:842916