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An Evaluative Review of Outcome Research on Universal Mental Health Promotion and Prevention Programs for Higher Education Students
Journal of American College Health
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2013
Pages: 286 - 301
Source ID: shanti-sources-108031
Abstract: OBJECTIVE:This review is the first large-scale attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of universal promotion and prevention programs for higher education students on a range of adjustment outcomes. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS: The current review examined 83 controlled interventions involving college, graduate, and professional students, with a focus on 3 main outcomes: social and emotional skills, self-perceptions, and emotional distress. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: Skill-oriented programs that included supervised practice demonstrated the strongest benefits, thus showing promise as a successful mental health promotion and preventive intervention. In comparing different intervention strategies, mindfulness training and cognitive-behavioral techniques appear to be the most effective. Furthermore, interventions conducted as a class appear to be effective, suggesting the potential for exposing higher education students to skill training through routine curricula offerings. This review offers recommendations for improving the experimental rigor of future research, and implications for enhancing campus services to optimize student success in psychosocial--and thus ultimately academic--domains.