A new parenting-based group intervention for young anxious children: results of a randomized controlled trial

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Mar;50(3):242-251.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.12.015.


Objective: Despite recent advances, there are still no interventions that have been developed for the specific treatment of young children who have anxiety disorders. This study examined the impact of a new, cognitive-behaviorally based parenting intervention on anxiety symptoms.

Method: Families of 74 anxious children (aged 9 years or less) took part in a randomized controlled trial, which compared the new 10-session, group-format intervention with a wait-list control condition. Outcome measures included blinded diagnostic interview and self-reports from parents and children.

Results: Intention-to-treat analyses indicated that children whose parent(s) received the intervention were significantly less anxious at the end of the study than those in the control condition. Specifically, 57% of those receiving the new intervention were free of their primary disorder, compared with 15% in the control condition. Moreover, 32% of treated children were free of any anxiety diagnosis at the end of the treatment period, compared with 6% of those in the control group. Treatment gains were maintained at 12-month follow-up.

Conclusions: This new parenting-based intervention may represent an advance in the treatment of this previously neglected group.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Behavior Control* / methods
  • Behavior Control* / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / education*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Self Report
  • Sensitivity Training Groups

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN12166762