1.    What was the study’s purpose?

The study evaluated the specificity and effectiveness of the Penn Resiliency Program.

2.    Was there a sufficient amount of literature reviewed? Was a theoretical background offered? If so, please describe the theoretical background.

A relatively sufficient literature was reviewed with the author pointing out the flaws in each article which points to existing gaps that his research is expected to address. However, the reviewed literature was confined to the PRP intervention. Incorporating literature from other related interventions could have widened the understanding of the significance of the research to be undertaken.

The study offered a comprehensive theoretical background that outlined how the research was undertaken where children from sampled middle schools were assigned randomly to a control intervention program. They were followed up for some period to ascertain their reaction to treatments to determine specificity and effectiveness of the intervention program (Gillham et al., 2007).

3.    What sampling technique did the researcher use?

The researcher adopted a multistage sampling technique as a mixture of stratified and cluster sampling methods are applied when sampling participants and schools.

4.    Disadvantages of using the sampling technique

Multi-stage sampling technique isolates other portion of the target population from taking part in the study making the findings not a representative of the whole target populations.

The technique also lacks any restrictions in choosing groups thus a higher likelihood of subjectivity making researchers prompted to provide a rationale for their choices during the presentation of the findings of the study.

5.    What are the variables in the study?

Independent variable- depressive symptoms

Dependent variables- Penn Resiliency Program, Penn Enhancement Program, Control intervention

6.    Are the variables measured quantitatively or qualitatively?

The variables are measured quantitatively

7.    How do the researchers operationally define the variable of “performance?”

The variable of “performance” is defined as any variable, excluding independent variable, which has the potential to influence the outcome. In this research the “performance” variable has been defined by the baseline and follows up assessments (Gillham et al., 2007).

8.    How did the research measure the each variable?

The variables were measured based on Cohen’s d through the use of the difference i.e. PRP minus PEP, PRP minus CON. ANOVA was also applied to determine any relationship that might exist between the independent variable and dependent variable (Gillham et al., 2007).

9.    What procedures did the researchers use? What were the participants asked to do?

 They were required to complete questionnaires at the baseline as well as in the follow-up assessments at an interval of 2 weeks after intervention and six months after the 2weeks for three years (Gillham et al., 2007). A recommended CDI cutpoints of greater than or equal to 13 was used to group the depressive symptoms as elevated symptoms within, equal or greater than 19 to signify high symptom within.

Clinical symptoms were also examined using CDRS-R that involved assessment of children with a 13 or more CDI score in the previous assessment (Gillham et al., 2007).

10.    What were the results of the study?

The Penn Resiliency Program intervention in two of the schools had much significant effect as it reduced the depressive symptoms in all the follow-ups as compared to PEP and CON (Gillham et al., 2007). Nonetheless, the PRP had no significant effect on the third school since it did not prevent the occurrence of depressive symptoms.

11.    What were conclusions did the researcher draw from the results?

The researchers concluded that counselors and teachers in a school set up could be used to implement the interventions effectively and efficiently provided that their capacity are improved through training (Gillham et al., 2007).

12.    What are the limitations of the study?

The study suffered staffing and budget constraints that confined the study to only interview children with a CDI score of greater than 13 (Gillham et al., 2007).

13.    What are the authors’ suggestions for future research?

The research’s integrity coding system only measured adherence to the intervention protocol without a comprehensive variability in a leader’s skill or competence in the delivery of intervention hence a need for a more detailed evaluation of the implementation of an intervention (Gillham et al., 2007). The researchers also propose a research undertaking capable of evaluating interventions in the real world set up that has the likelihood of enhancing powerful depression prevention interventions in schools.  

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