Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Parental Involvement for Treating Children With Anxiety Disorders

2014-07-24 14:18:45 | BioPortfolio


This study will compare the effectiveness of individual cognitive behavioral therapy with two distinct types of parent involvement versus individual cognitive behavioral therapy without parent involvement in treating children with anxiety disorders. Hypothesized mediator of change for eac of the two parent treatment conditions also will be evaluated


Anxiety disorders are among the most common emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders in children, affecting an estimated 1 out of every 10 children and adolescents. Symptoms of anxiety disorders include an excessive sense of worry, stress, and fear; headache; nausea; and impaired learning and concentration. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to difficulties with school and relationships, substance abuse, and the persistence of anxiety problems into adulthood. Individual cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT), in which children learn to cope with fears through behavior and thought modification, has been an effective form of treatment for children with anxiety disorders. Studies have indicated that ICBT involving children and parents may be more effective than ICBT involving only children for improving anxiety levels and long-term recovery rates. This study will compare the effectiveness of ICBT with either parent reinforcement training or parent relationship training versus ICBT without parent involvement in treating children with anxiety disorders.

Participation in this study will last 15 months, with 3 months of treatment and 12 months of follow-up. Both parent and child participants will first undergo initial assessments that will include psychological questionnaires; a video-taped child-parent interaction session; and interviews about behaviors, psychological functioning, and problem situations. Participants will then be assigned randomly to one of three treatment groups: ICBT, ICBT with parent reinforcement training (PRT1), or ICBT with parent relationship training (PRT2). All participants will attend between 12 and 14 weekly treatment sessions, lasting 60 minutes each. During all sessions, child participants will learn how to change anxious and fearful thoughts and to deal with feared objects and events. ICBT PRT1 and ICBT PRT2 sessions will also involve the parent and child working together. ICBT PRT1 will specifically teach the parent strategies for managing the child's behavior through the use of positive rewards and positive parental behaviors to help discourage child avoidant behaviors. ICBT PRT2 will specifically teach the parent ways to communicate with the child and to solve problems to help discourage child avoidant behaviors.

All participants will be asked to complete questionnaires throughout treatment, upon completion of treatment, and 6 months after the end of treatment. Three and 9 months after the end of treatment, participants will undergo a 15-minute telephone assessment to evaluate how the child participant has been doing. The final assessment will occur 12 months after the end of treatment and will include repeat interviews and questionnaires.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Anxiety Disorders


Individual cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT), Parent relationship training (PRT2) With Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT), Parent reinforcement training (PRT1) With Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT)


Florida International University
United States




National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:18:45-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A direct form of psychotherapy based on the interpretation of situations (cognitive structure of experiences) that determine how an individual feels and behaves. It is based on the premise that cognition, the process of acquiring knowledge and forming beliefs, is a primary determinant of mood and behavior. The therapy uses behavioral and verbal techniques to identify and correct negative thinking that is at the root of the aberrant behavior.

The enhancement of physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills so an individual may participate in chosen activities. Recreational modalities are used in designed intervention strategies, incorporating individual's interests to make the therapy process meaningful and relevant.

Contextually focused form of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy that uses MINDFULNESS and behavioral activation to increase patients' psychological flexibility in areas such as ability to engage in values-based, positive behaviors while experiencing difficult thoughts, emotions, or sensations.

The training or bringing-up of children by parents or parent-substitutes. It is used also for child rearing practices in different societies, at different economic levels, in different ethnic groups, etc. It differs from PARENTING in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the child and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent.

Performing the role of a parent by care-giving, nurturance, and protection of the child by a natural or substitute parent. The parent supports the child by exercising authority and through consistent, empathic, appropriate behavior in response to the child's needs. PARENTING differs from CHILD REARING in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the children and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent.

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