A Sociocultural Perspective on the Primary Prevention of Depression
AbstractDrawing on points made by , we propose directions for further research to explore the importance of sociocultural factors in the prevention of depression. We provide a rationale for using the entire spectrum of preventive interventions, including both targeted and universal interventions, to curb the depression epidemic. We also suggest ways to circumvent problems with statistical power that result from conducting research on samples that are not at heightened risk, such as focusing on related factors (explanatory style, depressive symptoms, social skills) as acceptable outcomes. We point to schools as ideal settings for research on this topic and propose a cost-effective, multiple-tiered prevention program that provides a basic intervention to all students, with more intensive care provided to individuals who do not respond to the first intervention. In conclusion, we emphasize the importance of designing preventive interventions that can be realistically and cost-effectively implemented and that target both the individual and the individual's social and cultural surroundings.