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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999 Oct;38(10):1223-9.

Cognitive-behavioral group treatments in childhood anxiety disorders: the role of parental involvement.

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Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



This study examined (1) the effect of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention on anxiety, depression, and coping strategies in school-age children (aged 7-12 years) with Axis I anxiety disorders; and (2) the effect of parental involvement on treatment outcomes.


Parents and children (N = 62) were randomly assigned to one of three 12-week treatment conditions: parent and child intervention, child-only intervention, and parent-only intervention. Child anxiety, depression, and coping strategies were assessed before and after treatment.


All treatment groups reported fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression posttreatment and changes in their use of coping strategies. Children in the parent and child intervention used more active coping strategies posttreatment compared with children in the other 2 treatment conditions. Parents in this treatment condition reported a significantly greater improvement in their children's emotional well-being than parents in the other treatment conditions.


Cognitive-behavioral group interventions reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in school-age children with anxiety disorders. Concurrent parental involvement enhanced the effect on coping strategies. Further investigation is needed to corroborate the effectiveness of such short-term interventions and the maintenance of treatment effects.

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