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FRIENDS parent project : effectiveness of parent training in reducing parent anxiety in a universal prevention program for anxiety symptoms in school children Fukushima-Flores, Marnie

Abstract

Anxiety is one of the most pervasive childhood mental health disorders of our day. This is reflected in the growing body of research investigating the most effective ways to treat and prevent childhood anxiety. This study adds to the discussion by examining the parent component of a school based universal prevention and intervention program. Participating parents (N = 122) completed four measures on anxiety, the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI, Reiss, Peterson, Gursky, & McNally, 1986), the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D, Radloff, 1977), the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ, Meyer, Miller, Metzger, & Borkovec, 1990), and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED, Birmaher et al., 1999) before and after the parent program. The effectiveness of the program was investigated by analysing mean scores of the parent self-reported anxiety symptoms and parent reports of child anxiety symptoms. The main analyses conducted were 2 x 2 between-within ANOVAs for each measure. The hypothesis that parents who participated in the program (n = 20) would report reduced anxiety symptoms for themselves and for their children when compared to parents who did not attend (n = 120) was not confirmed. The parent’s satisfaction level with the program was also studied with high acceptability ratings providing strong social validity for this program. Implications of the findings, strengths, limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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