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Treatment Response in Child Anxiety is Differentially Related to the Form of Maternal Anxiety Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2007

Peter J. Cooper*
Affiliation:
University of Reading, UK
Catherine Gallop
Affiliation:
University of Reading, UK
Lucy Willetts
Affiliation:
University of Reading, UK
Cathy Creswell
Affiliation:
University of Reading, UK
*
Reprint requests to Peter J. Cooper, Winnicott Research Unit, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, 3 Early Gate, Reading RG6 6AL, UK. E-mail: p.j.cooper@reading.ac.uk

Abstract

An examination was made of the extent to which maternal anxiety predicted response to treatment of children presenting with an anxiety disorder. In a sample of 55 children referred to a local NHS CAMH service for treatment of an anxiety disorder, systematic mental state interview assessment was made of both mothers and children, and both completed self-report questionnaires to assess aspects of anxiety, both immediately before the children received treatment and following treatment. Children of mothers with anxiety disorder overall responded less well to treatment than children of mothers with no anxiety disorder. There was some diagnostic specificity in this in that children of mothers with GAD did as well in treatment as children whose mothers had no anxiety, whereas children of mothers with social phobia did poorly. The outcome for children with anxiety appears to be related to the presence and nature of maternal anxiety. It would seem prudent that treatment of children with anxiety involves assessment of maternal anxiety. It is important to establish in systematic investigation whether treatment of maternal anxiety improves the outcome for child anxiety.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2007

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