Recent Advances in Intervention for Early Childhood Anxiety

Anticich, Sarah A.J.; Barrett, Paula M.; Gillies, Robyn; Silverman, Wendy
December 2012
Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling;Dec2012, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p157
Academic Journal
Anxiety disorders in older children and adolescents have long been acknowledged as impairing, persistent and predictive of future anxiety and mood-related disorders. Until recently, however, anxiety in preschoolers and younger children has been regarded as relatively uncommon and within normal developmental parameters. Increasing evidence is suggestive that symptoms of anxiety in preschoolers parallel those in older children (Hirshfeld-Becker, Micco, Mazirsky, Bruett, & Henin, 2011) with this under-investigated area attracting increasing interest from researchers and clinicians alike. The present review summarises the empirical literature on early intervention and prevention programs for anxiety in young children (aged 3–7 years) with a specific focus on the application of such programs in the school context and implications for guidance counsellors, an improved understanding of which is critical for informing effective intervention. The studies reviewed demonstrate promising outcomes for anxiety; however, there is still a significant amount of work to be done in terms of our understanding of developmentally appropriate, family-focused and child-led models of anxiety and early intervention and prevention protocols.


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