Skip to main content Accessibility help

Factors Associated With Parental Consent to use D-Cycloserine for Child Anxiety

  • Simon P. Byrne (a1), Ronald M. Rapee (a1) and Naomi Sweller (a2)


This study examined factors influencing parent willingness to use D-Cycloserine (DCS) for treating child anxiety. N = 222 parents were given information about using DCS to treat anxiety. They were then asked to rate their willingness to allow their child to take DCS/antibiotics for mild anxiety, severe anxiety, or an infection. The associations between willingness to use DCS and parental trait anxiety, demographics, as well as specific concerns regarding the medication, were examined. Parents could also provide written responses regarding their attitudes to DCS, which were analysed for themes. Parents reported concerns regarding potential side-effects from DCS. More severe anxiety was associated with more willingness to consent; however, parents were more willing to use antibiotics to treat an infection than DCS to treat their child's anxiety. The degree of perceived benefit from DCS was most strongly associated with parents’ willingness to use it. Overall, parents expressed mixed views, reporting they would consider using DCS to treat their child; however, they had significant concerns about it. Results suggest providing parents with information explaining how DCS works, its risks and potential benefits may increase its acceptability.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Simon P. Byrne, Yale Child Study Center, 230 South Frontage Rd, New Haven, CT, USA 06520. Email:


Hide All
Brown, A., Deacon, B., Abramowitz, J., Dammann, J., & Whiteside, S. (2007). Parents’ perception of pharmacological and cognitive-behavioral treatments for childhood anxiety disorders. Behavior Research and Therapy, 45, 819828.
Byrne, S.P., Farrell, L.J., Storch, E., & Rapee, R.M. (2014). D-cycloserine augmented treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: A review of preliminary research. Psychopathology Review, 1, 157168.
Byrne, S., Rapee, R., Malhi, G., Richardson, R., Jones, M., & Hudson, J. (2015). D-cycloserine enhances generalization of fear extinction in children. Depression and Anxiety, 32, 408414.
Chavira, D., Stein, M., Bailey, K., & Stein, M. (2003). Parental opinions regarding treatment for social anxiety disorder in youth. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 24, 315322.
Creamer, M., Foran, J., & Bell, R. (1995). The Beck Anxiety Inventory in a non-clinical sample. Behavior Research and Therapy, 33, 477485.
Cross-Calvert, S., & Johnston, C. (1990). Acceptability of treatments for child behavior problems: Issues and implications for future research. Journal of Clinical Child Psychololgy, 19, 6174.
Deacon, B.J., & Abramowitz, J.S. (2005). Patients’ perceptions of pharmacological and cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders. Behavior Therapy, 36, 139145.
Farrell, L.J., Waters, A.M., Boschen, M.J., Hattingh, L., McConnell, H., Milliner, E.L., . . . Storch, E.A. (2013). Difficult to treat pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder: feasibility and preliminary results of a randomized pilot trial of D-Cycloserine augmented behavior therapy, Depression and Anxiety, 30, 723731.
Gage, & Wilson, (2000). Acceptability of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A comparison of parents. Journal of Attention Disorders, 4, 178182.
Hofmann, S.G. (2014). D-cycloserine for treating anxiety disorders: Making good exposures better and bad exposures worse. Depression and Anxiety, 31, 175177.
Hong, S., & Shepherd, M. (1996). Psychosocial and demographic predictors of pediatric psychotropic medication use. American Journal of Health Systems Pharmacy, 53, 19341939.
Hatzimanolis, I., & Alevizos, V. (1999). Attitudes and opinion of non-psychiatric physicians and a general population sample about psychotropic drugs. Psychiatry, 10, 135141.
Johnston, C., Hommersen, P., & Seipp, C. (2008). Acceptability of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Relations to child and and parent characteristics. Behavior Therapy, 39, 2232.
Kazdin, A.E. (1980). Acceptability of alternative treatments for deviant child behavior. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 13, 259273.
Lazaratou, H., Anagnostopoulos, D., Alevizos, E., Haviara, F., & Ploumpidis, D. (2007). Parental attitudes and opinions on the use of psychotropic medications in mental disorders of childhood. Annals of General Psychiatry, 6, 3238.
Mertens, D. (2005). Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
McLeod, J., Pescosolido, B., Takeuchi, D., & White, F. (2004). Public attitudes toward the use of psychiatric medications for children. Journal of Health and Human Behavior 45, 5367.
Monastra, V. (2005). Overcoming barriers to effective treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A neuro-educational approach. International Journal Psychophysiology, 58, 7180.
Norberg, M.M., Krystal, J.H., & Tolin, D.F. (2008). A meta-analysis of d-cycloserine and the facilitation of fear extinction and exposure therapy. Biological Psychiatry, 63, 11181126.
Rapee, R.M., Schniering, C.A., & Hudson, J.L. (2009). Anxiety disorders during childhood and adolescence: Origins and treatment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 5, 311341.
Rappaport, N., & Chubinsky, P. (2000). The meaning of psychotropic medications for children, adolescents and their families. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 11981200.
Roberts, C., Farrell, L.J., Waters, A.M., Oar, E. & Ollendick, T.H. (2016) Parents’ perceptions of novel treatments for child and adolescent specific phobia and anxiety disorders. Child Psychiatry and Human Devevelopment, 47, 459471.
Spielberger, C. (1983). Manual for the State Trait Anxiety Inventory — STAI (Form Y). Palo Alto, CA: Mind Garden.
Storch, E.A., McKay, D., Reid, J.M., Geller, D.A., Goodman, W.K., Lewin, A.B., & Murphy, T.K. (2010). D-cycloserine augmentation of cognitive-behavioral therapy: Directions for pilot research in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder. Child Youth Care Forum, 39, 101112.
Whalen, C.K., & Henker, B. (1991). Therapies for hyperactive children: Comparisons, combinations, and compromises. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 126137.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Byrne supplementary material
Byrne supplementary material 1

 Word (17 KB)
17 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed