, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 301-316,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Jan 2009

One-Year Follow-up of Family versus Child CBT for Anxiety Disorders: Exploring the Roles of Child Age and Parental Intrusiveness

Abstract

Objective To compare the relative long-term benefit of family-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (FCBT) and child-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) for child anxiety disorders at a 1-year follow-up. Method Thirty-five children (6–3 years old) randomly assigned to 12–16 sessions of family-focused CBT (FCBT) or child-focused CBT (CCBT) participated in a 1-year follow-up assessment. Independent evaluators, parents, and children rated anxiety and parental intrusiveness. All were blind to treatment condition and study hypotheses. Results Children assigned to FCBT had lower anxiety scores than children assigned to CCBT on follow-up diagnostician- and parent-report scores, but not child-report scores. Exploratory analyses suggested the advantage of FCBT over CCBT may have been evident more for early adolescents than for younger children and that reductions in parental intrusiveness may have mediated the treatment effect. Conclusion FCBT may yield a stronger treatment effect than CCBT that lasts for at least 1 year, although the lack of consistency across informants necessitates a circumspect view of the findings. The potential moderating and mediating effects considered in this study offer interesting avenues for further study.