Emotional Awareness Predicts Specific Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Outcomes for Anxious Youth
The current study examined emotional awareness as a predictor of differential outcomes for youth treated for an anxiety disorder. 37 youth ages 7–15 received either individual cognitive-behavioral therapy or family cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and/or social phobia. Diagnoses were determined by independent evaluators, following semi-structured interviews (ADIS-IV-C/P) with youth and their parents. Self-report questionnaires, including the multidimensional anxiety scale for children and the emotion expressivity scale for children, were completed at pre- and posttreatment. Youth with higher levels of pretreatment emotional awareness had better treatment outcomes than youth with lower levels of emotional awareness, with specific regard to improved ability to cope with worry. Findings suggest that higher levels of emotional awareness facilitate better specific outcomes for anxious youth. Findings highlight the importance of understanding the emotions associated with worry during the treatment process.
KeywordsEmotional awareness Treatment outcome Generalized anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder Separation anxiety disorder
The preparation of this report was facilitated by an NICHD award (Grant No. HD080097) to Philip C. Kendall.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- 1.Hollon SD, Beck AT (2013) Cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapies. In: Lambert MJ (ed) Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change, 6th edn. Wiley, Majwah, pp 393–432Google Scholar
- 2.Kendall PC, Hudson JL, Choudhury M, Webb A, Pimentel S (2005) Cognitive behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety disorders. In: Hibbs ED, Jensen PS (eds) Psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent disorders: empirically based strategies for clinical practice. APA, Washington, pp 47–73Google Scholar
- 3.Ollendick TH, King NJ, Chorpita BF (2006) Empirically supported treatments for children and adolescents. In: Kendall PC (ed) Child and adolescent therapy: cognitive-behavioral procedures. Guilford Press, New York, pp 492–520Google Scholar
- 11.Fine SE, Izard CE, Mostow AJ, Trentacosta CJ, Ackerman BP (2003) First grade emotion knowledge as a predictor of fifth grade self-reported internalizing behaviors in children from economically disadvantaged families. Dev Psychopathol 15:331–342. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095457940300018X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 27.Kendall PC, Hedtke K (2006) Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxious children: Therapist Manual, 3rd edn. Workbook Publishing, PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
- 29.Silverman WK, Albano AM (1996) Anxiety disorders interview schedule for DSM–IV: Child version. Psychological Corporation, San AntonioGoogle Scholar
- 32.American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edn. Author, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- 35.Wood JJ, Piacentini JC, Bergman RL, McCracken J, Barrios V (2002) Concurrent validity of the anxiety disorders section of the anxiety disorders interview schedule for DSM-IV: child and parent versions. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 31:335–342. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15374424JCCP3103_05 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 50.Cook RD, Weisberg S (1982) Residuals and influence in regression. Chapman & Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 51.Stevens JP (1992) Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences, 2nd edn. Erlbaum, HillsdaleGoogle Scholar