Title

How Effective are Treatments for Child and Adolescent Depression?: A Meta-Analytic Review

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Clinical Psychology Review

Volume

22

Issue

2

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

2002

First Page

247

Last Page

269

DOI

10.1016/S0272-7358(01)00089-7

Abstract

We located a comprehensive sample of studies (1980–1999) on the psychosocial and pharmacological treatment of child and adolescent depression through an extensive literature search. Articles that met the inclusionary criteria were subsequently analyzed. The outcome data from 38 studies were extracted and converted into effect sizes (ESs). Comparisons of main effects, demographic, and quality of study variables were conducted. The overall findings of this meta-analysis indicate that several different psychosocial interventions for child and adolescent depression produced moderate to large treatment gains that were clinically meaningful for many afflicted youth. However, in general, the vast majority of pharmacological interventions were not effective in treating depressed children and adolescents. Nonetheless, there is recent evidence that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine are efficacious, and will likely play an increased role in the management of affective illness in youngsters. The clinical implications and limitations of these data are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.

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