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ERIC Number: EJ878754
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Testing Mediators of Intervention Effects in Randomized Controlled Trials: An Evaluation of Three Depression Prevention Programs
Stice, Eric; Rohde, Paul; Seeley, John R.; Gau, Jeff M.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v78 n2 p273-280 Apr 2010
Objective: Evaluate a new 5-step method for testing mediators hypothesized to account for the effects of depression prevention programs. Method: In this indicated prevention trial, at-risk teens with elevated depressive symptoms were randomized to a group cognitive-behavioral (CB) intervention, group supportive expressive intervention, CB bibliotherapy, or assessment-only control condition. Results: The group CB intervention reduced depressive symptoms and negative cognitions and increased pleasant activities. Change in these mediators predicted change in depression, and intervention effects became weaker controlling for change in the mediators; yet, change in depression appeared typically to occur before change in the mediators. The supportive expressive intervention reduced depressive symptoms but affected only 1 of 2 mediators (emotional expression but not loneliness). Change in emotional expression did not correlate with change in depression, and change in depression usually occurred before change in the mediators. Bibliotherapy did not significantly affect depressive symptoms or the ostensive mediators (negative cognitions and pleasant activities), and change in depression usually occurred before change in the mediators. Conclusion: Results imply that this procedure provides a sensitive test of mediation but yielded limited support for the hypothesized mediators, suggesting that nonspecific factors may play an important mediational role. (Contains 4 tables and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beck Depression Inventory