A Selective Intervention Program for Inhibited Preschool-Aged Children of Parents With an Anxiety Disorder: Effects on Current Anxiety Disorders and Temperament

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The current study evaluated the efficacy of early intervention for preschool-aged children selected on the basis of risk who also met diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders.


Seventy-one 3- to 4-year-old children were selected based on demonstrating high levels of inhibition and having a parent with a current anxiety disorder. They were randomly allocated to an eight-session parent intervention or waitlist.


At baseline, all of the children met criteria for one or more anxiety disorders. At 6-month follow-up, the intervention group showed a significantly greater reduction in anxiety disorders and less interference from their anxiety than the waitlist. In addition, children in the intervention condition showed greater reductions in parent and laboratory observed measures of behavioral inhibition.


The results suggest that a brief early intervention delivered through parents can reduce current anxiety and associated risk and may have the potential to alter the developmental trajectory of anxiety in a high-risk group of young children.


Clinical Trials Registry Information-Parent Education for Pre-School-Aged Children at Risk for Anxiety Disorders Aimed at Reducing High Levels of Inhibition. URL: http://www.anzctr.org.au. Unique identifier: 12608000351314.

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