American University
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Skills to enhance positivity in suicidal adolescents : results from a pilot randomized clinical trial

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posted on 2023-08-05, 13:01 authored by Shirlexy Yen, Megan L. Ranney, Maya A. Krek, Jessica R. Peters, Ethan H. Mereish, Katherine M. Tezanos, Christopher W. Kahler, Joel B. Solomon, Courtney Beard, Anthony S. Spirito

The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effects of an intervention, Skills to Enhance Positivity (STEP) that aims to increase attention to positive emotions and experiences and to decrease suicidal events. STEP involves four in-person individual sessions delivered during an inpatient psychiatric admission, followed by one month of weekly phone calls and daily text messages with mood monitoring and skills practice. A pilot randomized controlled trial of STEP vs. enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU) was conducted with 52 adolescents. Results indicated that on average 83% of the sessions were completed and that on 70% of the days, participants engaged with the text-messaging component of the intervention. Acceptability for both in-person and text-messaging components was also high, with satisfaction ratings averaging between good and excellent. STEP participants reported fewer suicide events than ETAU participants (6 vs. 13) after six months of follow-up.



Journal of Positive Psychology


Journal of Positive Psychology, Volume 15, Issue 3, 3 May 2020, Pages 348-361.


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