Doctor of Philosophy
Wendy K. Silverman
William M. Kurtines
Charles A. Bleiker
Child Anxiety, Treatment, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mediation
Date of Defense
Phobic and anxiety disorders are one of the most common, if not the most common and debilitating psychopathological conditions found among children and adolescents. As a result, a treatment research literature has accumulated showing the efficacy of cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) for reducing anxiety disorders in youth. This dissertation study compared a CBT with parent and child (i.e., PCBT) and child group CBT (i.e., GCBT). These two treatment approaches were compared due to the recognition that a child’s context has an effect on the development, course, and outcome of childhood psychopathology and functional status. The specific aims of this dissertation were to examine treatment specificity and mediation effects of parent and peer contextual variables.
The sample consisted of 183 youth and their mothers. Research questions were analyzed using analysis of variance for treatment outcome, and structural equation modeling, accounting for clustering effects, for treatment specificity and mediation effects.
Results indicated that both PCBT and GCBT produced positive treatment outcomes across all indices of change (i.e., clinically significant improvement, anxiety symptom reduction) and across all informants (i.e., youths and parents) with no significant differences between treatment conditions. Results also showed partial treatment specific effects of positive peer relationships in GCBT. PCBT also showed partial treatment specific effects of parental psychological control. Mediation effects were only observed in GCBT; positive peer interactions mediated treatment response. The results support the use CBT with parents and peers for treating childhood anxiety. The findings’ implications are further discussed in terms of the need to conduct further meditational treatment outcome designs in order to continue to advance theory and research in child and anxiety treatment.
Marin, Carla E., "Parental Involvement and Group Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Treatment Specificity and Mediation Effects" (2010). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 256.