This study compared the effects of direct child-parent interventions to the effects of child-focused interventions on anxiety outcomes for children with anxiety disorders.
Systematic review methods and meta-analytic techniques were employed. Eight randomized controlled trials examining effects of family cognitive behavior therapy compared to individual or group child-only therapy met criteria.
The overall mean effect of parent-child interventions was 0.26, 95% confidence interval [0.05, 0.47], p < .05, a small but positive and significant effect, favoring child-parent interventions. Results of the heterogeneity analysis were not significant (Q = 8.08, df = 7, p > .05, I-2 = 13.41).
Parent-child interventions appear to be more effective than child-focused individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy in treating childhood anxiety disorders. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
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