Quantitative Review of Research on Interventions for Depressed Parents

Quantitative Review of Research on Interventions for Depressed Parents

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Quantitative Article Review
Coping and Parenting: Mediators of a 12 month Outcomes of a Family Group Cognitive-Behavioral Preventive Intervention With Families of Depressed Parents a study performed by Compas, Champion, Forehand, Cole, Reeslund, Fear, Hardcastle Keller Aaron Garai, Merchant and Roberts (2010) sought to examine the changes in the coping skills of adolescent children of parents who were currently experiencing or had experienced depressive episodes when cognitive behavioral intervention. Compas et al. (2010) also sought to examine changes in the depressed parents parenting skills given the same intervention.
They look to three previous studies for evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in preventing depression in adolescent children of depressed parents (Compas et. al. 2010). The three studies they cite Clark et al. (2001) Garber et al. (2009) and Compas et al. (2009) found a decrease in depression attributed to cognitive-behavioral intervention, but did not explore mediating variables.(Compas et al. 2010) In order to better understand theory and to develop better treatment models Compas et al.(2010) wanted to isolate two specific factors, changes in the the rents skills in regards to child rearing and changes in the children's skills in coping. The goal was to see if those changes had positive outcomes on the children’s mental health.(Compas et al. 2010)
The sampling included 111 parents and 155 Children from the greater metropolitan areas of Burlington, Vermont and Nashville, Tennessee. (Compas et al. 2010) The parents selected for the study had either experienced or were currently experiencing depressive episodes.(Compas et al. 2010). The ethnic makeup of the sample was selected to be in accordance with the 2000 census reports and were reflective of the regions from which the samples were drawn.(Compas et al. 2010) The families also represented a broad spectrum of economic background with a mean income of $40,000.(Compas et al. 2010) While a slight majority of the sample were families with two parents living together divorced, widowed, separated and single parents were also represented. (Compas et al. 2010) The ages of the children were between 9 to 15, those age groups were selected as being under the age when researchers see an increase in depression. (Compas et al. 2010)
The researchers analyzed four different mediators, which they broke down as Parent adolescents reports of adolescent coping, observations of parenting, parental depressive symptoms and adolescent mental health outcomes. (Compas et al. 2010) . Parent adolescents reports of adolescent coping was measured with The Parent Depression version of the Responses to Stress Questionnaire.

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(Compas et al. 2010), Observations of parenting was measure with the Iowa Family Interaction Rating scales coding system as applied to two videotaped session with the children wherein they described a happy family moment and an stressful family moment.(Compas et al. 2010) Parental depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory. (Compas et al. 2010) The children's mental health was assessed by two different means, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale and the Child Behavior Checklist. (Compas et al. 2010)
The families were randomly divided into two different groups, one was given family group intervention and the other written information condition. (Compas et al. 2010) Family group intervention consisted of 12 group sessions not exceeding four families in the group.(Compas et al. 2010) The first eight sessions included learning about depression and coping methods as whole families and sessions where the children and parents met separately with facilitators to learn coping skills and parenting skills respectively.(Compas et al. 2010) The final four sessions met less frequently and served to brush up on learned in the earlier session. (Compas et al. 2010) The comparison group was given a self study program providing education about depression in a written form and was mailed to the subjects in intervals corresponding to the first eight sessions of the family group intervention group. (Compas et al. 2010)
The researchers analyzed the data after six months and after twelve months months using a mixed effects model. (Compas et al. 2010) Whether or not the data set was complete all participants data was used in the study. (Compas et al. 2010)
The researchers found that the intervention as compared to the written intervention had a positive effect on the children's well being at twelve months (Compas et al. 2010). They also found a change for the better in the parenting skills and that those changes resulted in positive outcomes for the children. (Compas et al. 2010)
Compas et al. made good selections in their sample group by selecting for a diverse population in terms of ethnicity and socio-economic background. Still, the generalizability may be somewhat affected by the regional choices. Both Nashville and Burlington are large metropolitan areas and whether or not the findings would be the same in more rural populations cannot be determined. Further the study does not select out for variations in efficacy amongst the different backgrounds of the sample group so it is unknown whether each group had similar responses. In order to make the most of this research it would be helpful to examine the findings from a multicultural perspective. Also the study does not have a true control, the group that did not receive group sessions still received written information which may have skewed the results.

Compas, B. E., Champion, J. E., Forehand, R., Cole, D. A., Reeslund, K. L., Fear, J., ... Roberts, L. (2010). Coping and parenting: Mediators of 12-month outcomes of a family group cognitive–behavioral preventive intervention with families of depressed parents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(5), 623-634. doi: 10.1037/a0020459

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