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.
Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.