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Br J Clin Psychol. 2001 Nov;40(Pt 4):399-410.

Prevention of anxiety symptoms in primary school children: preliminary results from a universal school-based trial.

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School of Applied Psychology, Mt Gravatt Campus, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld 4111, Australia.


Preliminary data are presented on the effectiveness of a universal school-based intervention for the prevention of anxiety symptoms in primary school children. A sample of 489 children (aged 10-12 years) were assigned to one of three intervention conditions: a psychologist-led preventive intervention, a teacher-led preventive intervention, or a usual care (standard curriculum) with monitoring condition. The intervention offered was the Friends for Children programme, a 12-session cognitive-behavioural intervention, originally based upon Kendall's (1994) Coping Cat programme. Participants in both intervention conditions reported fewer symptoms of anxiety at post-intervention than participants in the usual care condition. These preliminary results suggest that universal programmes for childhood anxiety are promising intervention strategies that can be successfully delivered to a school-based population and integrated into the classroom curriculum.

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