• depression;
  • empirically supported interventions;
  • prevention

Prevention programs have increasingly emerged to address the rising prevalence rates of depressive disorders among individuals across the life span. In the present article, empirically supported prevention programs are reviewed and discussed in an effort to isolate “active” components of intervention that may facilitate stronger outcomes. Specific interventions are contrasted across selective and indicated programs, challenges within the field of prevention highlighted, and areas for future research discussed. To date, targeted programs with at-risk children have yielded promising results, but it is unclear which elements of these multicomponent programs have the greatest impact on outcome. Results suggest that cognitive skills, interpersonal approaches, and the inclusion of parent treatment components are important mechanisms of change. Dismantling studies are further needed to identify the value of specific techniques, ascertain the optimal format of parent interventions, and evaluate dosing effects.