Girls in Transition Study: Helping Girls Enter the Teenage Years

09:19 EDT 5th July 2015 | BioPortfolio


This is a pilot study of the Girls in Transition (GT) program, an intervention designed to promote resilience and reduce gender-related risk factors for depression. The goal of the study is to gather preliminary data on the effects of the GT program.


Gender differences in rates of depression emerge during adolescence. Although rates of depression increase for both boys and girls during adolescence, the increase is more dramatic for girls. By late adolescence, girls are twice as likely as boys to develop depression. Because the transition to adolescence has been identified as a period of increased risk for girls, preventive interventions targeting early adolescent girls may promote resilience and prevent depression. The Girls in Transition (GT) program is a group intervention for 6th through 8th grade girls and is designed to address risk factors that are specific to girls. This study evaluates the effectiveness of the GT intervention in promoting coping strategies, preventing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and providing benefits in other outcomes related to depression, such as self-image.

Adolescents in this study will be assigned to one of two conditions: a group that will participate in the GT program in Spring 2006 (GT #1), or a waitlist control group that will participate in the GT program approximately two years later (GT #2). Students who participate in the program will attend eleven 90-minute after-school sessions led by the investigators. In the GT program, students learn cognitive-behavioral skills (such as strategies to cope with emotions and negative thinking) and problem-solving skills (such as assertiveness), and they discuss societal messages about women's appearance and roles. Adolescent participants will complete questionnaires about coping strategies, self-image, and feelings of hopelessness, depression and anxiety at five points during the study: at the beginning of the study (baseline) and at follow-ups approximately 6, 12, 16, and 24 months after baseline. In addition, students will complete an interview at baseline and then again 12 months later about experiences in which they have coped with stressful situations. Parents will complete a questionnaire about their child's life events at three assessment points (baseline and at follow-ups approximately 12 and 24 months after baseline).

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Prevention




Girls in Transition (GT) program, Waitlist Control


Swarthmore College
United States


Active, not recruiting


Swarthmore College

Results (where available)

View Results


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