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Family Processes in Child and Adolescent Anxiety and Depression

  • Mark R. Dadds (a1) and Paula M. Barrett (a1)


Anxiety and depression tend to run in families. This paper reviews some of the family processes that are implicated in the development, maintenance, and treatment of these problems in children and adolescents. Empirical studies and our theoretical review show that social learning processes within the context of intimate relationships are important in the development of anxiety and depression. Family processes have been shown to be important in the treatment of anxiety disorders but parallel evidence is lacking with regard to depression in adolescents. Two models are shown to have demonstrated explanatory power and empirical support: social learning theory and attachment theory. Examples are given of how these models can be contrasted and integrated at both clinical and theoretical levels.


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School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, QLD 4111, Australia. E-mail:


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Family Processes in Child and Adolescent Anxiety and Depression

  • Mark R. Dadds (a1) and Paula M. Barrett (a1)


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