Project ID NS-MH2023_07


Co Supervisor 1A IoPPN/PsychologyWebsite

Co Supervisor 1B IoPPN/Biostatistics & Health InformaticsWebsite

Co-producing a self-confidence programme for adolescents to reduce depression

The scientific basis of the project and (optional) translational aspects of the project,

It was previously thought that depression preceded low self-esteem and that once the depression was treated, then self-esteem would also improve. However, a number of longitudinal systematic reviews have now shown that low self-esteem precedes depression[1].

Therefore, if self-esteem can be improved, depression can be improved. There is little in the literature on the effectiveness of self-esteem interventions. Brown [2] has found that day-long self-confidence workshops for 459 adults in large groups (n=30) can lead to reduced depression (d=0.55) at 3 month follow-up in a RCT. However, there is no equivalent intervention for adolescents. There are few preventative interventions for adolescent depression.

The aims of this Phd study will be to review the literature and co-produce the depression programme with young people, adapting the original manual for adults. There will be opportunities to think about the content and ways of delivering the programme to young people.

The techniques and skills that will be learnt

These will include systematic review techniques, acquire knowledge in developmental psychopathology, co-production techniques to develop the new intervention for young people and evaluating the intervention

Provide a set of over-arching objectives for each year of the PhD project.

Year 1: Systematic review of self-esteem interventions for young people
Year 2: Co-production of new intervention, using the MRC complex intervention
Year 3: Pilotting the new intervention and evaluating it for feasibility and acceptability and Writing up

Orth, U., et al., Low self-esteem is a risk factor for depressive symptoms from young adulthood to old age. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2009. 118(3): p. 472-478.

Horrell, L., et al., One-day cognitive–behavioural therapy self-confidence workshops for people with depression: randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2014. 204(3): p. 222-233.

One representative publication from each co-supervisor:

Brown, J.S.L., Evans-Lacko, S., Aschan, L., Henderson, M.J., Hatch, S.L., Hotopf, M. (2014) Patterns of informal and formal help-seeking for mental health problems in the community: a secondary analysis from a psychiatric morbidity survey in South London. BMC Psychiatry, 14: 275.

Carter B, Rees P, Hale L, Bhattacharjee D, Paradkar MS. Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr: 2016 Oct 31. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2341