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A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Child-Centered Therapy for Child Anxiety Disorders

Silk, Jennifer S. and Tan, Patricia Z. and Ladouceur, Cecile D. and Meller, Suzanne and Siegle, Greg J. and McMakin, Dana L. and Forbes, Erika E. and Dahl, Ronald E. and Kendall, Philip C. and Mannarino, Anthony and Ryan, Neal D. (2016) A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Child-Centered Therapy for Child Anxiety Disorders. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. pp. 1-13. ISSN 1537-4416

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Objective: This study compared individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a supportive child-centered therapy (CCT) for child anxiety disorders on rates of treatment response and recovery at post-treatment and one-year follow-up, as well as on real-world measures of emotional functioning. Method: Youth (N= 133; ages 9-14) with anxiety disorders (generalized, separation, and/or social anxiety) were randomized using a 2:1 ratio to CBT (N = 90) or CCT (N = 43), which served as an active comparison. Treatment response and recovery at post-treatment and one-year follow-up were assessed by Independent Evaluators, and youth completed ecological momentary assessment (EMA) of daily emotions throughout treatment. Results: The majority of youth in both CBT and CCT were classified as treatment responders (71.1% for CBT; 55.8% for CCT), but youth treated with CBT were significantly more likely to fully recover, no longer meeting diagnostic criteria for any of the targeted anxiety disorders and no longer showing residual symptoms (66.7% for CBT vs. 46.5% for CCT). Youth treated with CBT also reported significantly lower negative emotions associated with recent negative events experienced in daily life during the latter stages of treatment relative to youth treated with CCT. Furthermore, a significantly higher percentage of youth treated with CBT compared to CCT were in recovery at one-year follow-up (82.2% for CBT vs. 65.1% for CCT). Conclusions: These findings indicate potential benefits of CBT above and beyond supportive therapy on the breadth, generalizability, and durability of treatment-related gains.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Silk, Jennifer S.jss4@pitt.edujss40000-0002-8638-4337
Tan, Patricia Z.
Ladouceur, Cecile D.
Meller, Suzanne
Siegle, Greg J.
McMakin, Dana L.
Forbes, Erika E.
Dahl, Ronald E.
Kendall, Philip C.
Mannarino, Anthony
Ryan, Neal D.
Date: March 2016
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
Page Range: pp. 1-13
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/15374416.2016.1138408
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1537-4416
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
PubMed Central ID: PMC5218980
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 20:00
Last Modified: 12 May 2017 20:00


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