Coping with distress and self harm: The impact of a primary prevention program among adolescents

Avigdor Klingman, Zipora Hochdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effectiveness of a school-based primary prevention psychological program is assessed in the present study. The program was designed to (a) improve students’ distress-coping, (b) prepare them as “gatekeepers” with regard to self-destructive behavior of peers and (c) assess the program’s face validity and social validity. The program was primarily based on cognitive-behavioral modification principles, procedures and techniques. Two hundred and thirty-seven students, drawn from six homeroom grade eight classes were randomly assigned to experimental and control (no intervention) conditions. The program consisted of seven units passed during twelve weekly one-hour sessions. Overall, the program had a positive effect on attitudes, emotions, knowledge and awareness of distress coping skills. In addition, it had some degree of face validity and social validity from the students’ vantage point. These results lend support to the feasibility of a cognitive-behavioral, school-based prevention program for students’ distress-coping enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-140
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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