• School;
  • universal;
  • depression;
  • prevention

This review examines the evidence concerning the efficacy and effectiveness of universal, school-based interventions designed to prevent the development of depression in children and adolescents. It evaluates the outcomes of research in relation to standards of evidence specified by the Society for Prevention Research (Flay et al., 2005). The limited evidence available brings into doubt the efficacy and effectiveness of current universal, school-based approaches to the prevention of depression, suggesting that the widespread dissemination of such interventions would be premature. Relatively brief programs, that focus specifically on enhancing individual skills and characteristics of the individual in the absence of environmental change, may be insufficient to produce lasting effects in the prevention of depression among children and adolescents.