This study evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety in a community clinic setting in Hong Kong, China. Forty-five clinically-referred children (age 6-11 years) were randomly assigned to either a cognitive-behavioral treatment program or a waitlist-control condition. Children in the treatment condition showed significant reduction in anxiety symptoms-both statistically and clinically-whereas children in the waitlist condition did not. After the waitlist period was over, the control group also received the treatment program and showed a similar reduction in symptoms. For the full sample of 45 children, the effectiveness of the intervention was significant immediately after treatment and in 3- and 6-month follow-ups. In addition, children's anxiety cognition and their ability to cope with anxiety-provoking situations fully mediated the treatment gains. These results offer empirical support for cognitive-behavioral treatment programs in a non-Western cultural context and plausible mediators for how cognitive-behavioral therapy works.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.