Depression is an important public health concern and the number of teenagers with depressive symptoms increases strongly during adolescence. The depression prevention program Op Volle Kracht (OVK) aims to reduce depressive symptoms in adolescents by teaching skills to refrain from negative thinking about daily hassles. The eff ect of the school-program was studied among 1343 adolescents aged 11 to 16 years from low-income areas in the Netherlands using a RCT-design. Although the OVK-program did not affect the amount of depressive symptoms of the total group, adolescents with parents with psychopathology did seem to profi t from the program. This is in line with previous research showing that depression prevention is particularly effective for specific riskgroups such as adolescents who already have elevated depressive symptoms. Further, contrary to what we expected, the findings revealed that a negative thinking style did not predict the amount of depressive symptoms. The results should be used to develop future depression prevention programs.

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Het aantal jongeren dat kampt met depressieve klachten tijdens de adolescentie stijgt. Depressies hebben negatieve psychische en maat schappelijke gevolgen op de korte én lange termijn. Om te voorkomen dat jongeren depressieve klachten ontwikkelen zijn depressiepreventieprogramma’s ontworpen. Is zo’n programma effectief? En hoe werkt zo’n programma dan? Karlijn Kindt deed er promotieonderzoek naar.

Beeld je een veertienjarig meisje in. Ze is alleen in haar slaapkamer, zit met gebogen schouders aan haar bureau en staart somber voor zich uit. Ze moet haar huiswerk maken, maar haar gedachten blijven haar afleiden. Ze staat op, loopt naar haar bed, pakt haar dagboek en schrijft: ‘Lief dagboek. Ik ben gewoon niet slim genoeg om mijn huiswerk te doen. Ik ben waarschijnlijk de domste van de school. Het voelt alsof ik nooit iets goed kan doen. Ik heb ook mijn vriendinnen afgezegd deze avond. Ik ben toch geen leuk gezelschap. Ik wed dat ze me niet eens missen. En mijn ouders zeuren dat ik zo snel geïrriteerd ben de laatste tijd. Ik heb nergens zin in. Gewoon in bed liggen en slapen. Het zou zelfs beter zijn als ik niet meer wakker word.’ Jongeren die een depressieve periode doormaken, zouden zich zoals dit meisje kunnen voelen. Zij zouden zo kunnen denken en zo kunnen doen. Een substantieel…

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