The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

BACKGROUND This paper reviews research on the psychological treatment of depression in children.

METHOD Manual and computer literature searches were performed.

RESULTS The most promising psychological interventions for depression in children are individual rather than family therapies. Cognitive--behavioural therapy seems to be an effective treatment for depressive symptoms and mild depressive disorders. It may also be a useful preventive intervention, though this remains to be conclusively demonstrated. There have been no systematic studies comparing psychological treatments with medication.

CONCLUSIONS Studies comparing psychological treatments and medication are now required.