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Penn Resiliency Program

Jane E. Gillham and Karen J. Reivich

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


The Penn Resiliency Program (PRP) is a group intervention designed to promote resilience in children and adolescents. PRP teaches a variety of cognitive and behavioral skills that are relevant to the wide range of challenges and stressors that are common during the late elementary and middle school years. PRP uses a group format and a structured curriculum, and it can be implemented in schools, after-school programs, clinics and other community settings. PRP originated as a depression-prevention program. Many of the PRP skills come from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is one of the most effective therapies for depression. PRP aims to prevent depression by teaching these cognitive and behavioral skills before students encounter the common interpersonal and academic challenges associated with the transition from childhood to adolescence. Rates of depression begin to climb in early adolescence, making this an important period for prevention efforts. In fact, by high school, depression is one of the most common public health problems affecting approximately 5–10% of adolescents each year. Even more adolescents suffer from high but subclinical levels of symptoms, and these symptoms cause great distress and interfere with functioning. In PRP, students learn about Albert Ellis's ABC model which states that beliefs and interpretations of events have powerful effects on our emotions ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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