Promoting Teen Attachment & Development (PTAD) Lab
Participate in a Study

Treatment Research Study for Depressed Adolescents

While decades of research have shown that certain therapy approaches work, the truth is that we don’t know how most well-studied therapies actually work.  If we can develop a better understanding of how therapy works, and what parts of therapy result in change, it can help us to develop more effective and efficient therapies.

This study, conducted by the University of Minnesota in partnership with Minnesota community mental health clinics, aims to address this exact question of how psychotherapy works. The study is focusing specifically on adolescent depression and two particular psychotherapy programs that aim to treat depression in this age group. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Study Procedures:
Interested adolescents and parents will participate in an initial phone screen and then an in-person diagnostic evaluation to see if the adolescent is eligible to participate in the study. If eligible and interested in participating, adolescents will be randomly assigned to one of two treatment programs that may help reduce their depressive symptoms:
  1. A clinic's usual psychotherapy practices: A clinic's usual psychotherapy practices will be delivered over 4 months and therapists will implement procedures that they usually use in their clinical practice.
  2. A psychotherapy approach called interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-A): IPT-A is an evidence-based treatment focusing on reducing depressive symptoms by improving the quality of an adolescent's relationship. Antidepressant medication may be prescribed if your teenager's depression does not improve with IPT-A. Adolescents will have between 12-16 IPT-A sessions during the 4 months of participation.
Six research assessment visits will take place at the University of Minnesota (*now being completed remotely via a secure-web conferencing service), outside of your mental health clinic visits (*also available to be completed remotely). During these visits, adolescents and their parents/caregivers will complete interviews and questionnaires, as well as participate in a short videotaped discussion.

 Who Can Participate:
Adolescents age 12-18 who are:
  • English-speaking and have English-speaking parent(s)
  • Displaying symptoms of depression
  • Not currently in treatment (taking antidepressant medication or receiving therapy) for depression
  • Participants will receive compensation for each research assessment completed.
    • Adolescents may receive up to $375 and parents may receive up to $165 in compensation.
  • Access to a secure web-conferencing platform to complete therapy and asessments.
  • Free parking is available at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities research assessment site.
  • If interested, please contact us.