Family treatment of childhood anxiety: a controlled trial

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Apr;64(2):333-42. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.64.2.333.


A family-based treatment for childhood anxiety was evaluated. Children (n = 79) aged 7 to 14 who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety, overanxious disorder, or social phobia were randomly allocated to 3 treatment conditions: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), CBT plus family management (CBT + FAM), and waiting list. The effectiveness of the interventions was evaluated at posttreatment and at 6 and 12 months follow-up. The results indicated that across treatment conditions, 69.8% of the children no longer fulfilled diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder, compared with 26% of the waiting-list children. At the 12-month follow-up, 70.3% of the children in the CBT group and 95.6% of the children in the CBT + FAM group did not meet criteria. Comparisons of children receiving CBT with those receiving CBT + FAM on self-report measures and clinician ratings indicated added benefits from CBT + FAM treatment. Age and gender interacted with treatment condition, with younger children and female participants responding better to the CBT + FAM condition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Child
  • Family Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Factors