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Transdiagnostic Approaches to the Prevention of Depression and Anxiety

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This article describes the rationale for a transdiagnostic approach to the prevention of depression and anxiety. Preventive interventions have typically been developed in isolation and have often focused on depression or anxiety as independent constructs. Yet these disorders frequently co-occur and share a number of risk and vulnerability factors. We review 4 modifiable risk factors and suggest preventive strategies: (1) negative cognitive content and processes; (2) parental psychopathology and parenting; (3) stress and coping; and (4) behavioral inhibition and avoidance. Though many of these strategies have been applied in existing preventive programs, some risk factors that may be important to emphasize in preventive interventions are not targeted routinely. Moreover, by adopting a transdiagnostic approach to prevention (understanding and targeting modifiable vulnerability factors that cut across these disorders), the efficacy, generalizability, and cost-effectiveness of preventive interventions may be enhanced.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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