Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 98–112 | Cite as

Treatment of Anxiety in Children and Adolescents

  • Tiah Dowell
  • Caroline L. Donovan
  • Lara J. Farrell
  • Allison M. Waters
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (M Brotman, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to provide an up-to-date summary of the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. We review the evidence in relation to treatments deemed to be efficacious followed by novel interventions that hold promise as potentially efficacious treatments.

Recent Findings

The latest research suggests that cognitive-behavioural therapy is an efficacious treatment, whether delivered individually, in groups, via the computer or internet, within the classroom, or in brief, intensive formats or over longer durations. Pharmacological treatments such as SSRIs and SNRIs are also efficacious but negative side events may dampen enthusiasm for their use. Augmentation of exposure therapy with D-Cycloserine, cognitive bias modification interventions, interpersonal therapy and ACT/mindfulness are promising but require more research to establish their efficacy.


The main conclusion is that personalised approaches are needed to identify the most effective intervention, or combination thereof, for each anxious youth within a stepped model of care that provides access to evidence-based services for different levels of need.


Anxiety Treatment Cognitive-behavioural therapy Children Adolescents 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and recommended reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiah Dowell
    • 1
  • Caroline L. Donovan
    • 1
  • Lara J. Farrell
    • 1
  • Allison M. Waters
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Applied PsychologyGriffith University, Mt Gravatt CampusMt GravattAustralia

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