School-based behavioral treatment for social anxiety disorder in adolescents: results of a pilot study

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 Jul;40(7):780-6. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200107000-00012.


Objective: To provide preliminary estimates of feasibility and effectiveness for school-based behavioral treatment in adolescents with social anxiety disorder.

Method: Six adolescents with social anxiety disorder were treated in a 14-session group treatment program conducted at their school. Assessments were conducted at baseline and after treatment.

Results: All participants were classified as treatment responders (markedly or moderately improved). Half of the participants did not meet diagnostic criteria for social phobia after treatment. Clinician severity ratings, as measured by the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children for DSM-IV: Child Version and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale for Children and Adolescents (LSAS-CA), decreased significantly after intervention, with effect sizes of 2.5 and 1.8, respectively. All LSAS-CA scale scores decreased significantly after treatment. Self-reported social phobia symptoms on the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children were not significantly reduced. Fear and avoidance ratings of the 10 most feared situations significantly decreased after treatment, with effect sizes of 1.5 for anxiety and 2.1 for avoidance.

Conclusions: This study provides preliminary support for the promise of school-based behavioral intervention for treating social phobia in adolescents. The school environment may be a rich and innovative setting for implementation of behavioral treatment because this is the setting where adolescents with social phobia endure the most distress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Psychiatry / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • School Health Services*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome