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The World Health Organization lists depression as the single largest contributor to global disability. More than 300 million people worldwide are estimated to suffer from this disorder. Success in managing depression once it begins is limited, with questions about the extent of the effectiveness of antidepressant medications and psychosocial treatments on depression in youths.1,2 Depression is associated with a host of attendant comorbidities, such as substance use and suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injury, which are difficult to treat and wreak further havoc on the lives of youths and their families. There are few available nonpharmacological treatments for preschool depression. Parent-Child Interaction therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based program3 designed to address externalizing behaviors in preschool children. Luby et al.4 present data on the effectiveness of a module that extends PCIT to address symptoms of preschool depression (PCIT-ED). Strengths of this study are the extension of a well-developed program to a group in high need, a sequential approach to examining effects, and the measurement of neural response as an outcome. The study is an exciting contribution to the care of preschool children. It has implications for early intervention, for altering trajectories of negative parent-child interactions in vulnerable families, and for personalized approaches to care. Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Sunita M Stewart, Graham J Emslie. Editorial: Extending Parent-Child Interaction Therapy to Preschool Children Who Are Depressed. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2020 Jul;59(7):803-804

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PMID: 31972261

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