One-year follow-up effects of a cognitive behavior therapy-based transdiagnostic program for emotional problems in young children: A school-based cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Iván Fernández-Martínez, Mireia Orgilés, Alexandra Morales, Jose P. Espada, Cecilia Essau

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Background: The present study examined the long-term efficacy of a transdiagnostic prevention program, Super Skills for Life (SSL), among young children with emotional problems. SSL is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral activation, and social skills training.
Methods: One-hundred twenty-three Spanish-speaking children, aged 6 to 8 years, and their parents participated in the study. They were recruited from ten schools. Schools were randomly allocated to either the intervention (IG) or waiting-list control (WLC) groups. The children’s parent completed a set of questionnaires to measure their child’s anxiety and depressive symptoms, general difficulties and positive attributes, and psychosocial impairment. Parent’s assessment at baseline and at a 12-month follow-up was assessed using an intent-to-treat approach.
Results: The IG, compared to WLC group, showed significant baseline-to-follow-up reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as in behavioral difficulties and psychosocial impairment in various life domains.
Limitations: The small sample size and the reliance on parental reports were the major limitations of this study.
Conclusions: This study provides initial evidence of the long-term effects of SSL, suggesting that it is a promising indicated preventive intervention for young children with emotional problems.

© 2019, Elsevier. The attached document (embargoed until 01/02/2021) is an author produced version of a paper published in JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258–266
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Super Skills for Life, anxiety, depression, young children, prevention

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