Tracy R.G. Gladstone Projects

  • BEhavioral Health Stratified Treatment (BEST) to Optimize Transition to Adulthood for Youth with IDD

    2021 - 2028

    This study will assess whether a care coordination program for teens with disabilities that treats depression and anxiety is better than a care coordination program that refers them to mental health services in terms of making teens feel healthier, happier, and able to handle future challenges.

  • Depression/Suicide Prevention for Adolescents in Holliston

    Ongoing since 2017

    Youth depression is a problem of major proportions, and over half of all teens who plan or attempt suicide have a mood disorder at the time.

  • Depression Prevention Dissemination

    Ongoing since 2015

    With this renewal of support, Gladstone will continue her work training In-Home Therapy clinicians in the Family Talk intervention, and supporting the use of the intervention with In-Home Therapy clients.

  • Depression Prevention for Middle School Students in Natick

    Ongoing since 2016

    This project aims to implement an evidence-based suicide prevention program in the Natick middle school.

  • Mood Check: School-Based Mental Health Screening Program

    Mood Check offers resources that increase the school community’s mental health awareness and literacy, which serves as a prevention tool for adolescent depression.

    While depression is a common problem among adolescents, it can be a challenge to identify teens at risk for or suffering from depression. This program addresses this critical issue by providing school-based mental health screening to all students in designated grades and offering additional support to adolescents at high risk for depression and/or suicidal behaviors.

    The program provides:

    • Resources that increase the school community’s mental health awareness and literacy, which serves as a prevention tool for adolescent depression
    • Two-level screening for students, including universal, self-reported screening for all students followed by in-depth interviews with students who are identified as high risk
    • Communication with parents/guardians about youth depression and resources
    • More significant follow-up (both immediate and long-term) for parents/guardians of high-risk teens
    • Referral access for all school families

    Importance of Preventing Depression in Adolescents

    The average age for the onset of depression is 15. Recent studies show that 13-15% of teens aged 12-17 have suffered at least one depressive episode, up from 8% in 2007. In addition, suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States.

    There are several short-term and long-term consequences of adolescent depression. Short-term consequences include difficult family/peer relationships, impaired school and work performance, increased risk for substance abuse, and increased suicidal behavior. Long-term consequences include poor functional outcomes in adulthood, reduced life satisfaction, higher rates of suicide attempts, more psychiatric and medical hospitalizations, lower educational attainment, and more time out of work. Having a depressive episode in adolescence or young adulthood increases the risk of having an episode later on, making early prevention efforts of utmost importance.

    Depression Prevention in Schools

    Research indicates that prevention programs can reduce the incidence of both depressive symptoms and depressive episodes. Addressing depression and suicidal behavior in the school setting can be particularly effective. The 2021 Surgeon General’s report on youth mental health reports that educators are well-positioned to notice early signs of depression. Additionally, research shows that teens prefer to receive mental health services in schools, rather than in mental health specialty settings.

    Dr. Tracy R.G. Gladstone

    Dr. Gladstone is a senior scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. She is also an assistant in psychology at Boston Children’s Hospital, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, and a research scientist at Judge Baker Children’s Center. For the past 25 years, Dr. Gladstone has focused her research on the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of preventive interventions targeting depression in children and families. She is trained in a variety of different intervention approaches and has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed manuscripts reporting the results of her research. She has taken an active role in teaching about depression, prevention, and intervention in local, national, and international settings.

    Watch: Supporting Adolescent Mental Health in the 'New Normal'

    On October 27, 2021, the Wellesley Centers for Women hosted “Supporting Adolescent Mental Health in the ‘New Normal,’” a virtual Social Change Dialogue on how educators, parents, and school communities can come together to support mental health for middle school and high school students.

    Panelists included Dr. Gladstone, WCW Postdoctoral Research Scientist Katherine R. Buchholz, Ph.D., Principal David Jordan, Ed.D., of Robert Adams Middle School in Holliston, MA, and School Psychologist Deanna Kanavas-DeRocher, Ed.S., LMHC, of Natick High School in Natick, MA.

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  • Natick Depression Prevention Initiatives

    Ongoing since 2015

    Hey NHS/WMS/KMS is a three-part program to address adolescent depression throughout the Natick Public Schools. The program will make an effort to increase mental health literacy in the Natick school community, and to prepare the community for a broad-based screening and intervention approach to the problem of youth depression/suicidal behavior.

  • Path 2 Purpose: Primary Care and Community-Based Prevention of Mental Disorders in Adolescents

    2018 - 2025

    This multi-year study tests two depression prevention approaches -- the online intervention CATCH-IT and an in-person group therapy intervention, POD -- to see which can prevent depression in teens.

  • Prevention of Depression: Impact on the Transition to Early Adulthood

    Ongoing since 2009

    The research teamwill examine the long-term effects of an earlier intervention on preventing depression during the critical developmental transition to young adulthood.

  • Prevention of Depression in At-Risk Adolescents Project - Boston

    This national, multi-site research study aims to test the effectiveness and generalizability of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for preventing depressive disorders in at-risk adolescent offspring of parents with depression.

  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing in Adolescents and Families through a Web-based Resource

    Ongoing since 2018

    This project will result in a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the long-term prevention of adolescent depression, including individual and family factors that influence intervention use and response.

  • Sibling Relationships in Children of Depressed Parents

    This project aims to explicate the relation between parental depression, parenting styles, parent/child relationships, sibling relationship quality and internalizing and externalizing outcomes in children.

  • Willow: Depression prevention for college students

    Ongoing since 2019

    Willow is a pilot study to prevent depression in Wellesley College students.

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