S.O.S. (Systems of Support)

Project summary

The S.O.S. program is a research study that provides treatment for childhood depression. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the aim of the S.O.S. Program is to learn new and better ways for treating childhood depression. In this safe, supportive, and confidential study, experienced therapists work with your child and family to improve depression and quality of life. A multi-site treatment study located at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Boston University (BU), the S.O.S. Program welcomes as participants children 7-13 years of age with childhood depression and at least one parent willing to take part in treatment.

Children eligible for the study will participate in one of two 14 week therapeutic programs designed to treat childhood depression:

  • One program focuses on individual treatment in which the child will work one-on-one with a therapist. The goal is to provide emotional support and to encourage healthy behavior and coping.
  • The other treatment program focuses on working with the family to help the child and parents work together to solve problems. The goal is to strengthen the child’s coping and teach the family how best to encourage their child’s healthy behavior.

Eligible children are assigned randomly (like flipping a coin) to either the individual or family treatment. The S.O.S. program aims to help children improve their ability to cope with distress and increase positive mood. In addition to receiving free treatment, families who take part in this program will also participate in three research interviews for which they will be paid.

For more information on the S.O.S. program, or to express interest in participating in this program, please call: 310-794-4962.

Current status: Project live


Primary Investigator: Joan Asarnow, Ph.D.