Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 84–93

Parental Anxiety as a Predictor of Medication and CBT Response for Anxious Youth

  • Araceli Gonzalez
  • Tara S. Peris
  • Allison Vreeland
  • Cara J. Kiff
  • Philip C. Kendall
  • Scott N. Compton
  • Anne Marie Albano
  • Boris Birmaher
  • Golda S. Ginsburg
  • Courtney P. Keeton
  • John March
  • James McCracken
  • Moira Rynn
  • Joel Sherrill
  • John T. Walkup
  • John Piacentini
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10578-014-0454-6

Cite this article as:
Gonzalez, A., Peris, T.S., Vreeland, A. et al. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2015) 46: 84. doi:10.1007/s10578-014-0454-6

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to evaluate how parental anxiety predicted change in pediatric anxiety symptoms across four different interventions: cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication (sertraline; SRT), their combination (COMB), and pill placebo. Participants were 488 youths (ages 7–17) with separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and/or social phobia and their primary caregivers. Latent growth curve modeling assessed how pre-treatment parental trait anxiety symptoms predicted trajectories of youth anxiety symptom change across 12 weeks of treatment at four time points. Interactions between parental anxiety and treatment condition were tested. Parental anxiety was not associated with youth’s pre-treatment anxiety symptom severity. Controlling for parental trait anxiety, youth depressive symptoms, and youth age, youths who received COMB benefitted most. Counter to expectations, parental anxiety influenced youth anxiety symptom trajectory only within the SRT condition, whereas parental anxiety was not significantly associated with youth anxiety trajectories in the other treatment conditions. Specifically, within the SRT condition, higher levels of parental anxiety predicted a faster and greater reduction in youth anxiety over the acute treatment period compared to youths in the SRT condition whose parents had lower anxiety levels. While all active treatments produced favorable outcomes, results provide insight regarding the treatment-specific influence of parental anxiety on the time course of symptom change.

Keywords

ChildrenAdolescentsParentAnxietyTreatment

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Araceli Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Tara S. Peris
    • 1
  • Allison Vreeland
    • 1
  • Cara J. Kiff
    • 1
  • Philip C. Kendall
    • 2
  • Scott N. Compton
    • 3
  • Anne Marie Albano
    • 4
  • Boris Birmaher
    • 5
  • Golda S. Ginsburg
    • 6
  • Courtney P. Keeton
    • 6
  • John March
    • 3
  • James McCracken
    • 1
  • Moira Rynn
    • 4
  • Joel Sherrill
    • 7
  • John T. Walkup
    • 8
  • John Piacentini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ServicesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicsUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Division of Services and Intervention ResearchNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA