MONDAY, July 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Three program components of interventions to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders and risk behaviors during adolescence have a significant effect on multiple outcomes, according to a review published online July 1 in Pediatrics.
Sarah Skeen, Ph.D., from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and colleagues used data from 158 studies published between 2000 and 2018 to identify effective program components of interventions to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders and risk behaviors during adolescence (ages 10 to 19 years). Core components and relevant outcomes were identified from data extracted from the studies.
The researchers found that universally delivered interventions can improve adolescent mental health and reduce risk behavior among adolescents. Seven components had consistent signals of effectiveness: interpersonal skills training, emotional regulation, alcohol and drug education, mindfulness, problem solving, assertiveness training, and stress management. Of these, three components had significant effects over multiple outcomes: interpersonal skills, emotional regulation, and alcohol and drug education. The presence of interpersonal skills was most consistently associated with larger effect sizes, with improved effects on mental health, depression and anxiety prevention, and prevention of substance use. “Further work should be undertaken to develop and test interventions that use these core components, especially in underresourced settings in which multiple risk factors for poor adolescent health are present,” the authors write.
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