Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST)

Scientific Rating:
2
Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Depression Treatment (Child & Adolescent).

Target Population: Adolescents, 12-16 years old, with elevated depression symptoms

For children/adolescents ages: 12 – 16

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 12 – 16

Brief Description

IPT-AST is a group-indicated prevention program that is based on Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (IPT-A) and its group adaptation. The intervention involves two initial individual sessions and eight weekly 90-minute group sessions. The group focuses on psychoeducation and general skill-building that can be applied to different relationships within the framework of three interpersonal problem areas: interpersonal role disputes, role transitions, and interpersonal deficits. The psychoeducation component includes defining prevention, educating members about depression, and discussing the relationship between feelings and interpersonal interactions. The interpersonal skill-building component consists of two stages. First, communication and interpersonal strategies are taught through didactics, activities, and role-plays. Once group members understand the skills, they are asked to apply them to different people in their lives, practicing first in group and then at home.

Program Goals:

The overall goals of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) are:

  • Improved interpersonal functioning
  • Improved depressive symptoms
  • Prevention of depression

Essential Components

The essential components of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) include:

  • Recommended group size of 4 to 7 adolescents
  • Completion of the interpersonal inventory
  • Education about depression
  • Discussion of the link between depressed mood and interpersonal events
  • Communication analysis
  • Instruction on interpersonal techniques and communication strategies aimed at improving one’s relationships
  • Role playing
  • Completion of assigned interpersonal work at home
  • Review of depression warning symptoms

Child/Adolescent Services

Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Elevated depression symptoms

Parent/Caregiver Services

Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Caregiver for adolescent with depressive symptoms

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • School

Homework

Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) includes a homework component:

Homework is an outgrowth of work conducted in the group. Adolescents are asked to utilize the interpersonal techniques in their relationships and to report back to the group on the outcome of these interactions.

Languages

Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • A room to run the group
  • 1-2 group leaders
  • Binders for group members

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Master's or doctoral degree in clinical, school, or counseling psychology, or Master's in social work

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Training arranged on an as needed basis

Number of days/hours:

Typically 1-2 days of didactics followed by consultation on preliminary groups

Implementation Information

Since Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) is rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, information was requested from the program representative on available pre-implementation assessments, implementation tools, and/or fidelity measures.

Show implementation information...

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is no formal support available for implementation of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST).

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) as listed below:

There are fidelity measures that outline the techniques and strategies for each session/phase of the intervention. To date, an external rater has listened to the sessions to rate adherence to the manual and competency of the delivery using these fidelity measures. They could also be completed by the person delivering the intervention.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are no implementation guides or manuals for Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST).

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "2 - Supported by Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The program must have at least one rigorous randomized controlled trial with a sustained effect of at least 6 months. The article(s) below that reports outcomes from an RCT showing a sustained effect of at least 6 months has an asterisk (*) at the beginning of its entry. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

*Young, J. F., Mufson, L., & Davies, M. (2006). Efficacy of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training: An indicated preventive intervention for depression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 1254-1262.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 41

Population:

  • Age — 11-16 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 92.7% Hispanic
  • Gender — 85.4% Female and 14.6% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth in predominately single-parent low-income households with undiagnosed sub-threshold depression symptoms.

Location/Institution: Three Catholic schools in New York City, NY

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Forty-one adolescents with elevated depression symptoms were randomized to receive either Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) or school counseling (SC) as delivered by guidance counselors and social workers at one of three New York City Catholic schools. Adolescents in the two intervention conditions were compared on depression symptoms, overall functioning, and depression diagnoses post-intervention and at 3-month and 6-month follow-up. Each evaluation included the Kiddie-Sads-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Adolescents who received IPT-AST had significantly fewer depression symptoms and better overall functioning post-intervention on the CES-D at 3 months and at 6 months. The IPT-AST group reported significantly better functioning on the CGAS at 3 months and 6 months post-treatment. Adolescents in IPT-AST also reported fewer depression diagnoses than adolescents in SC. Limitations include small sample size, less than half of the eligible adolescents agreed to participate in the eligibility evaluation, the unbalanced randomization resulted in a small number of adolescents in the SC group, and the majority of the sample was Hispanic and female.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Young, J. F., Gallop, R., & Mufson, L. (2009). Mother-child conflict and its moderating effects on depression outcomes in a preventive intervention for adolescent depression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38, 696-704.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 41

Population:

  • Age — 11-16 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 92.7% Hispanic
  • Gender — 85.4% Female and 14.6% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth from single-parent household with undiagnosed sub-threshold depression symptoms.

Location/Institution: Three Catholic schools in New York City, NY

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study used the same sample as Young, Gallop, & Mufson, (2006). Adolescents were randomized to receive Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST), or school counseling (SC). Study goals included examining whether the intervention could impact mother-child conflict and whether baseline conflict moderated the effects of the interventions on adolescents’ depression symptoms. Measures used included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Conflict Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ), Kiddie-Sads-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), and the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). All adolescents completed assessments at baseline; post-intervention; and 3, 6, and 12 months post-intervention. There was a significant reduction in adolescent reported conflict with mothers for adolescents in IPT-AST at post-intervention and throughout the 12-month follow-up period. Conversely, adolescents in SC reported an increase in conflict following the intervention and up to 6 months after the intervention, with a slight decrease in conflict reported at 12-month follow-up. Baseline mother–child conflict moderated the programs’ effects on depression symptoms. Adolescents in IPT-AST who had high baseline conflict showed significantly greater decreases in depression symptoms than adolescents in SC who had high conflict. No significant differences were found between the two interventions for adolescents with low baseline conflict. Limitations include small sample size, unbalanced randomization that resulted in less students in the SC group, using only adolescent reports of mother-child conflict, and the majority of the sample was Hispanic and female.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 12 months.

Young, J. F., Mufson, L., & Gallop, R. (2010). Preventing depression: A randomized trial of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 426-433.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 57

Population:

  • Age — 13-17 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 73.7% Hispanic and 26.3% African American
  • Gender — 59.7% Female and 40.3% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth from inner city, minority, single-parent homes, sub-threshold depression symptoms without diagnosis.

Location/Institution: Three Catholic high schools in New York City, NY

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Fifty-seven adolescents with elevated depression symptoms were randomized to receive Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST), or school counseling (SC). Measures used included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Kiddie-Sads-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), and Children's Depression Rating Scale, Revised (CDRS-R). Adolescents completed assessments at baseline, post-intervention, and at 6, 12, and 18-month post-intervention. Rates of depression diagnoses in the 18-month follow-up period were compared. From baseline to post-intervention, IPT-AST adolescents showed significantly greater rates of change than SC adolescents on the CES-D, CDRS-R, and the CGAS. In the 18 months following the intervention, there were no significant differences in rates of change on the CDRS-R, but there were significant differences in rates of change on the CES-D and the CGAS. SC adolescents showed continued improvements during the follow-up, whereas IPT-AST adolescents showed minimal change. IPT-AST adolescents reported significantly fewer depression diagnoses in the first 6 months following the intervention, but by 12-month follow-up the difference in rates of diagnoses was no longer significant. Limitations include that only a third of adolescents with elevated symptoms agreed to participate in the eligibility evaluation, small sample size, SC involved individual counseling which may question the effectiveness of specific IPT-AST techniques over general group processes, many did not complete follow-up assessments, and minority youth were overrepresented which may affect generalizability.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 18 months.

Young, J. F., Benas, J. S., Schueler, C. M., Gallop, R., Gillham, J. E., & Mufson, L. (2016). A randomized depression prevention trial comparing Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training to group counseling in schools. Prevention Science, 17(3), 314-324.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 186

Population:

  • Age — Mean=14.01 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 38.2% White non-Hispanic, 38.2% Hispanic, 19.9% African-American, 4.3% Asian, and 8.1% Other
  • Gender — 66.7% Female
  • Status — Participants were adolescents in 7th to 10th grade at participating middle schools diagnosed with depression.

Location/Institution: New Jersey

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The current study examined the efficacy of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) for adolescents with depression in comparison to group programs that are typically delivered in school settings. Adolescents with elevated depression symptoms were randomized to receive IPT-AST or group counseling (GC) delivered by school counselors. Measures used included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS-PL), the Therapy Procedures Checklist (TPC), and the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Adolescents completed assessments at baseline, postintervention, and at 6-month postintervention. Results indicate adolescents in IPT-AST showed significantly greater improvements in self-reported depressive symptoms and evaluator-rated overall functioning than GC adolescents from baseline to the 6-month follow-up. However, there were no significant differences between the two conditions in onset of depression diagnoses. Although both intervention conditions demonstrated significant improvements in depressive symptoms and overall functioning, results indicate that IPT-AST has modest benefits over groups run by school counselors which were matched on frequency and duration of sessions. In particular, IPT-AST outperformed GC in reduction of depressive symptoms and improvements in overall functioning. Limitations include that only a third of adolescents with elevated symptoms agreed to participate in the eligibility evaluation, despite significant efforts to make GC an equivalent control group, there were differential rates of attendance for IPT-AST and GC and length of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

The following studies were not included in rating IPT-AST on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Horowitz, J. L., Garber, J., Ciesla, J. A., Young, J., & Mufson, L. (2007). Prevention of depressive symptoms in adolescents: A randomized trial of cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal prevention programs. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 693-706.

Note: This study was not used in rating Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) in the Depression Treatment (Child & Adolescent) topic area due to its focus being on prevention versus treatment. Participants were 380 high school students randomly assigned to a cognitive–behavioral program (CB), IPT-AST, or a no-intervention control. The interventions involved eight 90-minute weekly sessions run in small groups during wellness classes. Study goals included examining efficacy relative to gender and sociotropy [a personality trait associated with high levels of dependence and excessive need to please others]. Measures used included the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Sociotropy-Achievement Scale for Children (SASC), Children's Attributional Style Questionnaire-Revised (CASQ-R), Coping with Stress Course (COPE), and the Conflict Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ). At postintervention, the CB and IPT-AST groups showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms than in the no-intervention group, controlling for baseline depression scores. Differences between control and intervention groups were largest for adolescents with high levels of depressive symptoms at baseline. No significant effects for gender, but results indicate that higher levels of sociotropy were related to lower levels of depression in the IPT-AST group and control group, but not the CB group. Intervention effects were short-term and were not maintained at 6-month follow-up. Limitations include low rates of follow-up data for students in the control group with elevated symptoms, not obtaining information regarding treatment between assessments, not conducting diagnostic interviews or individual pregroup sessions in the IPT-AST condition, questionable generalization due to the 63% participation rate, and absolute therapist fidelity to treatment protocol was not monitored.

References

Young, J. F., & Mufson, L. (2008). Interpersonal psychotherapy and prevention. In J. R. Z. Abela & B. L. Hankin (Eds.), Depression in children and adolescents: Cause, treatment, and prevention (pp. 288-308). New York, Guilford.

Young, J. F., Mufson, L., & Schueler, C. M. (2016). Preventing adolescent depression: Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training. Retrieved from https://global.oup.com/academic/product/preventing-adolescent-depression-9780190243180?cc=us&lang=en&

Contact Information

Name: Jami Young, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Rutgers University
Website: global.oup.com/academic/product/preventing-adolescent-depression-9780190243180?cc=us&lang=en&
Email:
Phone: (848) 445-3934
Fax: (732) 445-4888

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2010