Preventing depression in high-risk college women: A report of an 18-month follow-up

Ann R. Peden, Mary Kay Rayens, Lynne A. Hall, Lora H. Beebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The authors tested the long-term effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention in reducing depressive symptoms, decreasing negative thinking, and enhancing self-esteem in 92 college women aged 18 to 24 years who ere at risk for clinical depression. The women were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a no-treatment control group. The experimental group participated in a 6-week cognitive-behavioral intervention that targeted identification and reduction of negative thinking, using such techniques as thought stopping and affirmations. Data on depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and negative thinking were collected before the intervention and at intervals of 1, 6, and 18 months postintervention. The women in the intervention group experienced a greater decrease in depressive symptoms and negative thinking and a greater increase in self-esteem than those in the control group. The beneficial effects continued over an 18-month follow-up period. These findings support the importance of thought stopping and affirmations as prevention interventions with at-risk college women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College Health Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Grant #R15 NR04203 awarded to Drs Peden, Hall, and Rayens from the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health. The authors wish to express their appreciation to Carol Donnelly for editorial assistance and to Libby Moss for preparing the manuscript.


  • College women
  • Depression
  • Negative thinking
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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