Universal Prevention of Anxiety and Depression in a Recreational Camp Setting: An Initial Open Trial

Jill Ehrenreich-May, Emily L. Bilek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Anxiety and depressive disorders may pose a long-term, deleterious impact on youth, prompting a need for early and effective prevention of such concerns. A growing body of research has examined universal prevention programs targeting these emotional disorders in childhood. While most universal prevention programs are offered within the school setting, there is also a rationale for developing and investigating prevention programs within novel settings, including a recreational context. This initial investigation utilized the Emotion DetectivesPrevention Program (EDPP), a universal prevention protocol focusing on anxiety and depression symptoms within a recreational summer camp. The aims of this pilot study were to assess the EDPP's feasibility and participant satisfaction following its initial administration in a camp setting. Forty children (ages 7-10 years, 70.7% male) were recruited from an existent recreational sports camp and participated in a non-randomized, open trial of the EDPP. The EDPP, a 15-session program, presents cognitive-behavioral strategies in a manner that emphasizes strategy applicability across a range of emotional experiences. Participating children reported a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms at post-prevention. No significant change in depression symptoms or other emotion regulation indices were reported. Moderate to high participant satisfaction was indicated. The EDPP appears to be a feasible program for the prevention of child-reported anxiety symptoms in a camp setting. Given the novelty of the prevention context, issues inherent in the conduct of research in a recreational camp setting and future directions for research in this setting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-455
Number of pages21
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Anxiety
  • Camp
  • Children
  • Cognitive-behavioral
  • Depression
  • Open trial
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Universal Prevention of Anxiety and Depression in a Recreational Camp Setting: An Initial Open Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this