Treating Depression in Preschool Children

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“When the evidence-based intervention Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) was recently adapted to treat preschool depression, the results of a small preliminary trial were promising.

Psychiatrists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, added a new, third module to PCIT, which has already been shown to be very effective in treating disruptive behavior in preschoolers. This new Emotion Development (ED) module appears to produce positive effects on children’s emotion development, reducing depressive symptoms.

The ED module, developed by Joan Luby and colleagues, involves teaching and coaching parents to develop their child’s emotional competence and regulation strategies. Parents allow their child to experience a range of emotions and help them to identify, understand, and manage different emotions. Six sessions of ED are delivered after the two core modules of PCIT.”

Reference:
Luby, J., Lenze, S., & Tillman, R. (2011). A novel early intervention for preschool depression: findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02483.x

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