A Hug a Day

Social support through physical touch helps us cope with stress

HugFrom Friends of the Semel Institute: Scientific American reported on a recent study that found that hugs make us feel connected and may also help prevent illness. The magazine also cited research by Dr. Naomi Eisenberger, a Professor in UCLA’s Social Psychology Program and Director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. She found that when people held the hand of a romantic partner undergoing stress, both partners felt better. Read the Scientific American story here.

Photo Credit: DPC | olly

Family-Based Interpersonal Therapy Found Effective for Child Depression

Treating Child Depression--photo credit: artmim | DPC

Treating Child Depression photo credit: artmim | DPC

From Psychiatric News Alert: Family-based interpersonal psychotherapy appears to be an effective treatment for preadolescent depression and proved superior to child-centered therapy, according to a report published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) randomly assigned 42 preadolescents with depression family-based interpersonal psychotherapy (FB-IPT) or to child-centered therapy (CCT). Depressive symptoms in children were measured by the Children’s Depression Rating Scale, Revised, and the Mood Feeling Questionnaire, Child and Parent Versions. Preadolescents receiving FB-IPT had higher rates of remission, a greater decrease in depressive symptoms from pre- to post-treatment, and lower depressive symptoms at post-treatment than did preadolescents with depression receiving CCT.

“These findings provide strong support for FB-IPT as an effective treatment for preadolescent depression with medium to larger effect sizes. There was a significant indirect effect for decreased social impairment mediating the association between the FB-IPT and preadolescents’ post-treatment depressive symptoms. This may suggest that reducing social impairment is one mechanism by which FB-IPT may decrease preadolescents’ depressive symptoms.”

For related news, see the Psychiatric News article “Family Intervention Benefits Children of Depressed Parents.”