Development of Child- and Parent-Report Measures of Behavioral Avoidance Related to Childhood Anxiety Disorders

Stephen P.H. Whiteside, Michelle Gryczkowski, Chelsea M. Ale, Amy M. Brown-Jacobsen, Denis M. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current report describes 3 studies conducted to develop 8-item child- and parent-report measures to further the understanding of the role of behavioral avoidance in the development, maintenance, and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. Participants included both clinical (N=463; ages 8 to 12) and community (N=421; ages 7 to 18) samples of children and their parents from primarily Caucasian intact families. Follow-up data were collected from 104 families in the community sample. Overall, the measures were internally consistent and related to anxiety, distress, and alternative measures of avoidance in both samples. Parent report of children's behavioral avoidance evidenced the strongest psychometric properties, differentiated among clinical and community populations, and most importantly, predicted children's anxiety at least 8. months later over and above initial anxiety ratings. Moreover, decreases in avoidance were associated with successful exposure therapy. These results are consistent with the role of behavioral avoidance in the development of anxiety and provide an efficient tool for assessing the role of avoidance in clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Therapy
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Assessment
  • Avoidance
  • Child
  • Self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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