Depressed youth: Treatment outcome and changes in family functioning in individual and family therapy

Finn Ferdinand Garoff, Kati Heinonen, Anu Katriina Pesonen, Fredrik Almqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the role of family functioning in therapeutic change in focused individual psychodynamic psychotherapy (FIPP) and time-limited systems integrative family therapy (SIFT) for depressed children and adolescents. After a screening process, 72 participants aged 8 to 15 were randomized to either FIPP or time-limited SIFT. Assessments took place prior to, at the end of, and 6 months after treatment. Families in both SIFT and FIPP showed a small but significant and sustained improvement in family functioning by the end of treatment in both mothers' self-reports and family therapists' assessments. Better family functioning at baseline in mothers' self-reports and improved family functioning during SIFT, as assessed by family therapists, predicted a sustained decrease in self-reported depressive symptoms. Results indicated that time-limited SIFT may be more effective with younger children and in patients without a diagnosis of double depression than adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Depression
  • Family therapy
  • Outcome research
  • Psychodynamic approaches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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