Mediators of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents On Outcomes in Latinos: The Role of Peer and Family Interpersonal Functioning

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Peer and family interpersonal functioning were examined as mediators of the impact of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents (IPT-A; Mufson, Dorta, Moreau, & Weissman, 2004) on depression and suicidal ideation among Latino youth. Only youth self-identifying as Latino (n = 50) were included in the analyses. The majority were female (86%) with a mean age of 14.58 (SD = 1.91). The current sample was drawn from the intent to treat sample of a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of IPT-A as compared with treatment as usual (TAU; Mufson, Dorta, Wickramaratne et al., 2004). Youth were randomly assigned to receive IPT-A or TAU delivered by school-based mental health clinicians. Assessments, completed at baseline and at Weeks 4, 8, and 12 (or at early termination), included self-report measures of depression and interpersonal functioning as well as clinician-Administered measures of depression. Multilevel modeling indicated that IPT-A led to greater improvement in interpersonal functioning with family and peers. Improved family and peer interpersonal functioning emerged as significant partial mediators of the relationship between IPT-A and depression. Only improved family interpersonal functioning emerged as a significant partial mediator of the relationship between IPT-A and suicidal ideation. However, this indirect effect was small, suggesting that most of the benefit of IPT-A for suicidal ideation appears to proceed through a pathway other than family interpersonal functioning. These results suggest that the impact of IPT-A on depressive symptoms is partially mediated by family and peer interpersonal functioning and contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms of IPT-A.



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