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Randomized evaluation of a school-based, trauma-informed group intervention for young women in Chicago

NCJ Number
Science Advances Volume: 9 Issue: 23 Dated: 2023
Monica P. Bhatt; Jonathan Guryan; Harold A. Pollack; Juan C. Castrejon; Molly Clark; Lucia Delgado-Sanchez; Phoebe Lin; Max Lubell; Cristobal Pinto Poehls; Ben Shaver; Makenzi Sumners
Date Published

This article reports on the results of a study that explored whether a school-based group counseling program for adolescent girls could mitigate trauma-related mental health harms.


This study explores whether a school-based group counseling program for adolescent girls, implemented at scale, can mitigate trauma- related mental health harms. In a randomized trial involving 3749 Chicago public high school girls, the authors find that participating in the program for 4 months induces a 22% reduction in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and find significant decreases in anxiety and depression. Results surpass widely accepted cost-effectiveness thresholds, with estimated cost-utility well below $150,000 per quality adjusted life year. the authors find suggestive evidence that effects persist and may even increase over time. Our results provide the first efficacy trial of such a program specifically designed for girls, conducted in America's third largest city. These findings suggest the promise of school-based programs to mitigate trauma-related harms. (Published Abstract Provided)