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Review
. 2008 Jan;37(1):105-30.
doi: 10.1080/15374410701817907.

Evidence-based Psychosocial Treatments for Phobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

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Review

Evidence-based Psychosocial Treatments for Phobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Wendy K Silverman et al. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. .

Abstract

The article reviews psychosocial treatments for phobic and anxiety disorders in youth. Using criteria from Nathan and Gorman (2002), 32 studies are evaluated along a continuum of methodological rigor. In addition, the treatments evaluated in each of the 32 studies are classified according to Chambless et al.'s (1996) and Chambless and Hollon's (1998) criteria. Findings from a series of meta-analyses of the studies that used waitlists also are reported. In accordance with Nathan and Gorman, the majority of the studies were either methodologically robust or fairly rigorous. In accordance with Chambless and colleagues, although no treatment was well-established, Individual Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Group Cognitive Behavior Therapy (GCBT), GCBT with Parents, GCBT for social phobia (SOP), and Social Effectiveness Training for children with SOP each met criteria for probably efficacious. The other treatments were either possibly efficacious or experimental. Meta-analytic results revealed no significant differences between individual and group treatments on diagnostic recovery rates and anxiety symptom reductions, as well as other youth symptoms (i.e., fear, depression, internalizing and externalizing problems). Parental involvement was similarly efficacious as parental noninvolvement in individual and group treatment formats. The article also provides a summary of the studies that have investigated mediators, moderators, and predictors of treatment outcome. The article concludes with a discussion of the clinical representativeness and generalizability of treatments, practice guidelines, and future research directions.

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