A universal prevention trial of anxiety symptomatology during childhood: Results at 1-year follow-up.
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In 2001 we evaluated a universal prevention trial of anxiety during childhood, and also examined the effects of the program on levels of depression. Participants were 594 children aged 10-13 years from seven schools in Brisbane, Australia, who were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group on a school-by-school basis. The intervention was based on the group CBT program FRIENDS (Barrett, Lowry-Webster & Holmes, 1999a, 1999b, 1999c). Results were examined universally (for all children) and for children who scored above the clinical cut-off for anxiety at pre-test. At 12-month follow-up, intervention gains were maintained, as measured by self-reports and diagnostic interviews. Eighty-five per cent of children in the intervention group who were scoring above the clinical cut-off for anxiety and depression were diagnosis free in the intervention condition, compared to only 31.2% of children in the control group. Implications of these findings are examined, alongside limitations and directions for future research.