The Child Anxiety Prevention Study: Intervention Model and Primary Outcomes

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Abstract

The article presents the intervention model and primary outcomes of a preventive intervention designed to reduce anxiety symptoms and prevent the onset of anxiety disorders in the offspring of parents with anxiety disorders. Participants were 40 volunteer children (mean age = 8.94 years; 45% girls; 90% Caucasian) whose parents met criteria for a broad range of anxiety disorders. Families were randomly assigned to an 8-week cognitive-behavioral intervention, the Coping and Promoting Strength program (CAPS; n = 20) or a wait list control condition (WL; n = 20). Independent evaluators (IEs) conducted diagnostic interviews, and children and parents completed measures of anxiety symptoms. Assessments were conducted pre- and postintervention and 6 and 12 months after the postintervention assessment. On the basis of intent to treat analyses, 30% of the children in the WL group developed an anxiety disorder by the 1-year follow-up compared with 0% in the CAPS group. IE and parent-reported (but not child-reported) levels of anxiety showed significant decreases from the preintervention assessment to the 1-year follow-up assessment in the CAPS but not the WL group. Parental satisfaction with the intervention was high. Findings suggest that a family-based intervention may prevent the onset of anxiety disorders in the offspring of parents with anxiety disorders.

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