ERIC Number: EJ803812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Treatment of Separation Anxiety Disorder in Young Children: A Pilot Study
Choate, Molly L.; Pincus, Donna B.; Eyberg, Sheila M.; Barlow, David H.
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, v12 n1 p126-135 Win 2005
Research suggests that Parent-Child Interaction therapy (PCIT) works to improve the child's behavior by changing the child-parent interaction. PCIT has been effective in treating disruptive behavior in young children. This article describes a pilot study to apply PCIT to the treatment of separation anxiety disorder (SAD). A multiple-baseline design was used with 3 families with a child between the ages of 4 and 8 who had a principal diagnosis of SAD. Following treatment with PCIT, clinically significant change in separation anxiety was observed on all measures. Disruptive behaviors also decreased following treatment. Treatment gains were maintained at a 3-month follow-up interval. These findings suggest that PCIT may be particularly useful for treatment of young children with SAD, the most prevalent yet underresearched anxiety disorder of childhood. The results of this study support research delineating the important contribution of family factors to anxiety in childhood. Several mechanisms are proposed that may account for the dramatic decrease in separation-anxious behaviors seen in children during PCIT, including increased levels of child control, increased social reinforcement of brave behaviors, improved parent-child attachment, and decreased levels of parent anxiety. Results of this study provide promising initial evidence that PCIT may be efficacious for treating young children with SAD. A randomized clinical trial is warranted to further elucidate the efficacy of PCIT for treatment of SAD in young children.
Descriptors: Young Children, Interaction, Parents, Social Reinforcement, Therapy, Separation Anxiety, Behavior Modification, Outcomes of Treatment, Mental Disorders, Family Influence, Parent Child Relationship, Counseling Effectiveness, Psychological Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A