Examining sudden gains during cognitive-behavioral therapy for depressed 9 to 13 year old girls

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Title: Examining sudden gains during cognitive-behavioral therapy for depressed 9 to 13 year old girls
Author: Fisher, Melissa Elizabeth, 1980-
Abstract: Cognitive -behavioral therapy (CBT ) is used to treat children and adolescents with depression . Researchers determined that many individuals undergoing CBT and other therapies experienced sudden gains , meaning that they experienced a rapid and large improvement in their symptoms between sessions . The studies demonstrated that by the end of treatment , individuals who experienced sudden gains were significantly less depressed and had better long -term outcomes than individuals who did not experience sudden gains . Previous studies investigated sudden gains in individual therapy while the present study examined sudden gains in group treatment . In addition to replicating results of previous studies , the present study sought to examine the effect of sudden gains on depressive symptoms , family environment , cognitive triad , and negative life events at pre -treatment and at a one year follow -up using multivariate analysis of variance . Participants included 136 girls , aged 9 to 13 , in two treatment conditions (CBT , CBT+ parent training (CBT+PT ) , and a Minimal Contact Control (MCC ) ) . At pre -treatment , post -treatment , and at a one year follow -up , participants completed self -report measures of the family environment , cognitive triad , and negative life events . They also completed a semi -structured diagnostic interview designed to symptoms of depression . After beginning the study , participants’ depressive symptoms were monitored with a brief symptom interview and /or a self -report measure of depressive symptoms . Findings from the study provided further evidence that sudden gains occur during group CBT , and that the majority of sudden gains occur early in CBT . The number of sudden gains did not vary significantly by treatment condition , and similar to previous research , the presence of a parent intervention component did not appear to significantly change the relation between sudden gains and treatment outcome . One important finding was participants in the Minimal Contact Control group experienced sudden gains despite not being in treatment . Another important finding was that the participants who experienced sudden gains differed significantly from the participants who did not experience sudden gains on pre -treatment measures of family environment and the cognitive triad but no differences were found at post -treatment or at a one year follow -up . Implications of these results , limitations , and recommendations for future research are provided .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -08 -1662
Date: 2010-12-06

Citation

Examining sudden gains during cognitive-behavioral therapy for depressed 9 to 13 year old girls. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -08 -1662 .

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