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J Clin Child Psychol. 1998 Dec;27(4):459-68.

Evaluation of cognitive-behavioral group treatments for childhood anxiety disorders.

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School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Australia.


Undertook an evaluation of a cognitive-behavioral group family-based intervention for childhood anxiety disorders in Brisbane, Australia. The treatment aimed to provide children and their families with skills in the management of anxiety and avoidance, problem solving, and mutual family support. Children (n = 60) ranging from 7 to 14 years old who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for separation anxiety, overanxious disorder, or social phobia were randomly allocated to 3 treatment conditions: group cognitive-behavioral therapy (GROUP-CBT), group cognitive-behavioral therapy plus family management (GROUP-FAM), and wait list (WL). The effectiveness of the interventions was evaluated at posttreatment and 12-month follow-up. Results indicated that across treatment conditions, 64.8% of children no longer fulfilled diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder in comparison with 25.2% of children on the wait list. At 12-month FU, 64.5% of children in the GROUP-CBT group and 84.8% of children in the GROUP-FAM group were diagnosis free. Comparisons of children receiving GROUP-CBT with those receiving GROUP-FAM on self-report measures and clinician ratings indicated marginal added benefits from GROUP-FAM treatment. Results show that CBT interventions for childhood anxiety disorders can be effectively administered in a group format.

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