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Preventive intervention for anxiety in childhood: Implications for future research

  • Sally Johnson (a1) and Paula M. Barrett (a1)

Abstract

Early intervention has become a priority for many researchers interested in reducing the prevalence of anxiety disorders within Australia (Donovan & Spence, 2000). Despite substantial advances in our knowledge of effective intervention protocols, studies investigating preventive intervention for child anxiety are sparse. Universal prevention programs targeting large cohorts of children within community settings are considered most advantageous (Greenburg, Domitrovich, & Bumbarger, 2001), although empirical studies for anxiety in youth are only beginning to emerge. This review of research in anxiety intervention explored protocols shown to have been successful in reducing symptoms of anxiety in youth and to discuss implications for future research. Findings suggested that cognitive behavioural therapy was potentially effective in reducing anxiety symptoms in youngsters when implemented in clinical settings (Kendall, 1994, 1996; Barrett, 1996, 1998) and in school-based preventive intervention (Dadds, Spence, Holland, Barrett, & Laurens, 1998). Future research evaluating the effectiveness of prevention programs at different ages in development has further practical research implications in terms of identifiing the most appropriate time conducive to enhancing long-term intervention effects.

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Corresponding author

School of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Health Science, Psychology Building Mt Gravatt, Griffith University, BRISBANE QLD 4111, Ph: 61 7 3875 3305, Fax: 61 7 3875 3388, E-mail: sallylock_au@yahoo.com

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Preventive intervention for anxiety in childhood: Implications for future research

  • Sally Johnson (a1) and Paula M. Barrett (a1)

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