Examining the mechanisms of therapeutic change in a cognitive-behavioral intervention for anxious children: the role of interpretation bias, perceived control, and coping strategies

Ana Isabel Pereira, Peter Muris, Magda Sofia Roberto, Teresa Marques, Rita Goes, Luísa Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the role of theoretically meaningful mediators of therapeutic change-interpretation bias, perceived control, and coping strategies-in a cognitive-behavioral intervention for anxious youth. This is one of the few studies that examined the change in potential mediator and outcome variables by means of a longitudinal design that included four assessment points: pretreatment, in-treatment, post-treatment, and at 4-months follow-up. Forty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children with a principal DSM-IV diagnosis of anxiety disorder participated in the study. On each assessment point, questionnaires assessing the mediator variables and a standardized anxiety scale were administered to the children. The results showed that perceived control and interpretation bias (but not coping strategies) accounted for a significant proportion in the variability of various types of anxiety symptoms, providing a preliminary support for the notion that these cognitive dimensions' act as mechanisms of therapeutic change in cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxious children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
Volume49
Issue number1
Early online date12 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Cognitive-behavioral treatment
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Children
  • Mediators of change
  • CHILDHOOD ANXIETY DISORDERS
  • NONANXIOUS CHILDREN
  • INTERVIEW SCHEDULE
  • PARENT VERSIONS
  • DSM-IV
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • SYMPTOMS
  • VULNERABILITY
  • DEPRESSION
  • MEDIATORS
  • Humans
  • Thinking
  • Male
  • Anxiety Disorders/diagnosis
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Female
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Child
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Social Control, Formal
  • Anxiety/diagnosis
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Adaptation, Psychological

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