Effects of a Problem-Solving Program on Problem-Solving Ability, Self-Esteem, and Depression for Middle School Girls with Depression

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 1:45 PM

Haejung Lee, PhD, RN1
Hwa Yoon Um, RN, BSN2
Yeonjung Lim, RN, BSN1
1College of Nursing, Pusan National University, Yangsan, South Korea
2Department of Health Education, Tokchon Girls' Middle School, Busan, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: discuss the effects and the needs of the problem-solving program for middle school girls with depression.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the needs for further research on problem-solving programs to enhance the mental health for adolescents with depression.


The purpose of this study was to analyze effects of a problem-solving program on problem-solving ability, self-esteem, and depression for middle school girls with depression.


This quasi-experimental study was designed with a nonequivalent control group pre-post test. The research participants were middle school girls (N=82; experimental group=32, control group=50) whose CES-D score was higher than 24. The problem solving program consisted of 10 sessions (90min/session) was composed of introduction, problem orientation, problem solving skills, case application, and ending. The contents of the problem solving program were related to appearance, study, finance, and the relationship with parents and friends. The outcomes were measured by the Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised (SPSI-R), Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE), and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The data were analyzed by the SPSS WIN 12.0 program using x2-test and independent t-test.


The experimental group showed significantly higher levels of problem solving ability (experimental group=11.47±2.49, control group=10.84±2.50, t=3.107, p=.003) and lower depression levels (experimental=24.84±8.89, control group=28.80±9.75, t=-2.62, p=.011) than the control group after completing the program. The levels of self-esteem of the experimental group were improved after the program but the changes in self-esteem were not reached to the significant levels when compared with those of control group (experimental group=25.50±3.80, control group=24.32±4.91, t=1.646, p=.104).


The findings from this study showed that problem-solving program is very effective to reduce depression and increase problem solving ability among middle school girls with depression. Therefore, providing problem-solving program as an intervention to promote mental health of adolescents with depression should be considered.