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Parent–child CBT reduces anxiety disorders among children aged 4–7 years

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Is it effective to use parent–child cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders in children between 4 and 7 years of age?


64 children (average age of 5.4 years) with current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) anxiety disorder diagnosis (based on Schedule for Affective disorder and Schizophrenia for School Age Children, Epidemiologic version, K-SADS-E). Among the participants 77% had more than one DSM-IV anxiety disorder, and the rates of the individuals disorders were as follows: 44% had separation anxiety disorder, 67% had social anxiety disorder, 44% had generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), 36% had agoraphobia and 48% had specific phobia. For 73% of the children at least one parent had a lifetime history of major anxiety disorder (panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, GAD and/or obsessive compulsive disorder) and 44% had at least one parent with a current major anxiety disorder. Exclusions: parent with current psychosis, substance abuse or suicidality; children with mental retardation, prescribed psychiatric treatment, previous CBT or judged by two clinicians to be either too uncooperative or distractible to take part in the trial or too …

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  • Source of funding National Institutes of Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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