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Family treatment of childhood anxiety: a controlled trial

P M Barrett, M R Dadds, R M Rapee
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1996, 64 (2): 333-42
A family-based treatment for childhood anxiety was evaluated. Children (n = 79) aged 7 to 14 who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety, overanxious disorder, or social phobia were randomly allocated to 3 treatment conditions: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), CBT plus family management (CBT + FAM), and waiting list. The effectiveness of the interventions was evaluated at posttreatment and at 6 and 12 months follow-up. The results indicated that across treatment conditions, 69.8% of the children no longer fulfilled diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder, compared with 26% of the waiting-list children. At the 12-month follow-up, 70.3% of the children in the CBT group and 95.6% of the children in the CBT + FAM group did not meet criteria. Comparisons of children receiving CBT with those receiving CBT + FAM on self-report measures and clinician ratings indicated added benefits from CBT + FAM treatment. Age and gender interacted with treatment condition, with younger children and female participants responding better to the CBT + FAM condition.

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