Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret Beebe-Frankenberger

Commitee Members

Anisa Goforth, Allen Szalda-Petree, Lindsey Nichols, Cameo Stanick


University of Montana


Depression rates are high among adolescents, yet most young people do not receive treatment. Alternatives to in-person treatment are needed which are cost-effective and widely accessible. Teens use technology at high rates, but innovative methods of online treatment have not been widely researched in the United States. MoodGYM is a free, internet-based program designed to prevent depression in adolescents which has shown promise in research studies in Australia. To date, no studies with MoodGYM have been published in the United States. This pilot study was designed to evaluate the acceptability of usage of MoodGYM at home by adolescents to treat depressive symptoms. Recruitment initially began in the schools, with school psychologists soliciting students to participate in the study. Despite extensive efforts, only two school psychologists agreed to participate, and no students were recruited in schools. Final recruitment was accomplished through online social networking, and the online consent and recruitment process was found to be acceptable overall. Thirty-five (35) participants completed the initial survey, with ten participants completing the four modules of MoodGYM included in the study. Participants completed 2.35 modules on average. Adherence to MoodGYM was measured in several unique ways, including time spent on modules, characters entered into exercises, and surveys on usage. MoodGYM was found to be generally acceptable to adolescents. Participants on average responded positively to social validity measures given both pre- and postintervention. The sample was disproportionately rural, and rural participants completed about half a module more of MoodGYM. Contributions, limitations and future directions are discussed.



© Copyright 2016 Jaime Rebekah Long