Child anxiety treatment: outcomes in adolescence and impact on substance use and depression at 7.4-year follow-up

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004 Apr;72(2):276-87. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.72.2.276.


Research suggests that the sequelae of childhood anxiety disorders, if left untreated, can include chronic anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The current study evaluated the maintenance of outcomes of children who received a 16-week cognitive-behavioral treatment for primary anxiety disorders (generalized, separation, and social anxiety disorders) an average of 7.4 years earlier. The 86 participants (ages 15 to 22 years; 91% of the original sample) and their parents completed diagnostic interviews and self- and parent-report measures. According to the diagnostic interviews, a meaningful percentage of participants maintained significant improvements in anxiety at long-term follow-up. With regard to sequelae, positive responders to anxiety treatment, as compared with less positive responders, had a reduced amount of substance use involvement and related problems at long-term follow-up. The findings are discussed with regard to child anxiety and some of its sequelae.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Treatment Outcome