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Maternal anxiety predicts favourable treatment outcomes in anxiety-disordered adolescents

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Legerstee JS, Huizink AC, van Gastel W, Liber JM, Treffers PDA, Verhulst FC, Utens EMWJ. Maternal anxiety predicts favourable treatment outcomes in anxiety-disordered adolescents. Objective: 

To determine the differential impact of maternal and paternal internalizing psychopathology on cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) outcome of anxiety-disordered children and adolescents. Method: 

Participants consisted of 127 children and 51 adolescents with a primary anxiety diagnosis. Children were randomly assigned to a standardized group CBT or individual CBT; adolescents received individual CBT. Parents received four training sessions. Participants were evaluated at pre- and post-treatment with a clinical interview and with self- and parent-reported questionnaires. Lifetime anxiety and mood disorders in parents were obtained with a clinical interview. Results: 

For children, no associations were found between maternal and paternal anxiety or mood disorders and treatment outcome. For adolescents, however, maternal lifetime anxiety disorders were positively associated with pre-post-treatment improvement in clinician severity ratings and with treatment success. Conclusion: 

Lifetime maternal anxiety disorders were significantly associated with favourable treatment outcomes in adolescents. Paternal disorders were not associated with treatment response.
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Keywords: adolescents; anxiety disorders; children; cognitive-behavioural treatment; maternal and paternal internalizing psychopathology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam/Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Centre/Curium, Leiden, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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