Behaviour Change

Standard Papers

FRIENDS Parent Project: Effectiveness of Parent Training in Reducing Parent Anxiety in a Universal Prevention Program for Anxiety Symptoms in School Children

Marnie Fukushima-Floresa1 and Lynn Millera2 c1

a1 University of British Columbia, Canada.

a2 University of British Columbia, Canada. lynn.miller@ubc.ca

Abstract

Anxiety is the most pervasive childhood mental health disorder today. This study examined the parent component of a school-based universal prevention and early intervention program. Participating parents (N = 122) completed four measures on anxiety, the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders, 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 × 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.

Key Words:

  • childhood anxiety;
  • CBT;
  • prevention;
  • school;
  • parent training

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr. Lynn Miller, University of British Columbia, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.