The prevention of child and adolescent anxiety: a meta-analytic review

Prev Sci. 2011 Sep;12(3):255-68. doi: 10.1007/s11121-011-0210-0.


The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of child and adolescent anxiety prevention programs. Mean weighted effect sizes were calculated, and studies were encoded for potential moderator variables. A statistically significant effect size of .18 was obtained at post-intervention, which is consistent with effect sizes reported in reviews of depression, eating disorder, and substance abuse prevention programs. However, the effect sizes obtained at follow-up yielded mixed results. Significant moderators of program effectiveness were found including provider type (professional versus lay provider) and the use of the FRIENDS program. In contrast, program duration, participant age, gender, and program type (universal versus targeted) were not found to moderate program effectiveness. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed, including the need for more long-term follow-up, early prevention programs, and studies that systematically examine the impact of parent involvement on program effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Humans