. "7 Prevention of Specific Disorders and Promotion of Mental Health." Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2009.
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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities
tice; and Stay calm for life (Barrett, Lowry-Webster, and Turner, 2000). Barrett and Turner (2001) randomized 489 children ages 10-12 to one of three conditions: (1) usual care, (2) the program led by a teacher, or (3) the program led by a psychologist. Those assigned to the active interventions had significantly fewer anxiety symptoms at the end of the intervention. In other studies, the program reduced the proportion of 10- to 13-year-olds who were at risk for anxiety problems (Lowry-Webster, Barrett, and Dadds, 2001) and at 12-month follow-up had significantly lowered anxiety among sixth and ninth grade students (Barrett, Lock, and Farrell, 2005). There was some evidence that the intervention produced greater reductions than the control condition for the high- and moderate-risk groups (Barrett, Lock, and Farrell, 2005).
Dadds, Spence, and colleagues (1997) evaluated an indicated intervention for 7- to 14-year-olds who had anxiety symptoms or who met criteria for an anxiety disorder but did not have severe problems. The intervention followed Kendall’s FEAR strategy: Feeling good by learning to relax, Expecting good things to happen, Actions to take in facing up to fear stimuli, and Rewarding oneself for efforts to overcome fear or worry (Kendall, 1994; Bienvenu and Ginsburg, 2007). The intervention was provided to young people in 10 weekly group sessions; three sessions were provided to help parents learn to manage their own anxiety and to model and encourage their children’s use of the strategies. Six months after the intervention, young people in the intervention group had significantly fewer anxiety disorders than controls (16 compared with 54 percent). The difference was not significant at one-year follow-up, but it was at two-year follow-up (20 compared with 39 percent).
Schmidt, Eggleston, and colleagues (2007) report on a randomized trial of a selective intervention predicated on evidence that sensitivity to anxiety—the fear people have of having anxiety symptoms—is a predictor of the development of anxiety problems. Participants who were high in anxiety sensitivity were randomized to a brief intervention that taught about the symptoms of anxiety and the fact that they are not harmful. Participants were recruited from a university, the community, and local schools, with an average age of 19.3 years. Compared with the no-intervention group, participants had reduced concerns about the physical and social consequences of anxiety by the end of the program, although the effect was not maintained at follow-up. Intervention participants were also significantly more comfortable than control participants when exposed to a CO2 challenge that elicits anxiety, and significantly fewer had developed anxiety disorders one to two years after the intervention.
Seligman, Schulman, and colleagues (1999) used a randomized design to test an intervention consisting of 10 two-hour group sessions with 231 university students selected on the basis of their pessimistic views compared