Child and Adolescent Adherence With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety: Predictors and Associations With Outcomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders is effective, but nonadherence with treatment may reduce the benefits of CBT. This study examined (a) four baseline domains (i.e., demographic, youth clinical characteristics, therapy related, family/parent factors) as predictors of youth adherence with treatment and (b) the associations between youth adherence and treatment outcomes. Data were from 279 youth (7-17 years of age, 51.6% female; 79.6% White, 9% African American), with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.) diagnoses of separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and/or social phobia, who participated in CBT in the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study. Adherence was defined in three ways (session attendance, therapist-rated compliance, and homework completion). Multiple regressions revealed several significant predictors of youth adherence with CBT, but predictors varied according to the definition of adherence. The most robust predictors of greater adherence were living with both parents and fewer youth comorbid externalizing disorders. With respect to outcomes, therapist ratings of higher youth compliance with CBT predicted several indices of favorable outcome: lower anxiety severity, higher global functioning, and treatment responder status after 12 weeks of CBT. Number of sessions attended and homework completion did not predict treatment outcomes. Findings provide information about risks for youth nonadherence, which can inform treatment and highlight the importance of youth compliance with participating in therapy activities, rather than just attending sessions or completing homework assignments.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lee, P; Zehgeer, A; Ginsburg, GS; McCracken, J; Keeton, C; Kendall, PC; Birmaher, B; Sakolsky, D; Walkup, J; Peris, T; Albano, AM; Compton, S

Published Date

  • 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / sup1

Start / End Page

  • S215 - S226

PubMed ID

  • 28448176

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6541406

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-4424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/15374416.2017.1310046


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England